Keith Olbermann has had it up to here with Trump’s inability to weather criticism and his threats to First Amendment rights. Citing the frequent instances during which Trump has shown an oversensitivity to any kind of criticism directed towards him, Olbermann took to GQ’s YouTube series “The Resistance” to detail the ways in which Trump has reacted to criticism and how the American people should respond to threats to their right to protest.
For background, Trump has attacked the press on the grounds of perceived bias and encouraged his supporters to attack them as well, in an effort to delegitimize any kind of negative reporting about him. He went after comedic actor Alec Baldwin for his light-hearted portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live, again throwing around accusations of bias. More recently, he has reacted to the protests that have followed his election by calling them “unfair” and suggesting that they were paid in yet another attempt to delegitimize criticism.
In another display of his inability to grapple with widespread disapproval, when Mike Pence was booed upon his arrival at the Broadway musical Hamilton, Trump tweeted out that Pence was “harassed” and “this should not happen.” He also referenced a welcoming speech the Hamilton cast directed towards Pence and claimed that the cast was “very rude” and that they behaved terribly, demanding an apology. This directly contradicts reports from the audience and video of the incident which showed Hamilton cast member Brandon Victor Dixon addressing the Vice President-elect as “sir” and thanking him for attending.
In light of these examples, Olbermann outlines that Trump and his political supporters — specifically Washington state senator Doug Ericksen — are looking to restrict the First Amendment right to protest by reclassifying protest as a Class C felony, with fines up to $10,000 and rebranding protests as “economic terrorism.” In response to this, Olbermann highlighted a strategy with which people can defend their First Amendment rights. In the video, he states that we should prepare in this way:
If the laws come to pass, do not seek to evade them. Seek to break them. Have them broken so often, by so many people, that the jails cannot hold all of us, and the infrastructure collapses with the government then begging for our help. Moreover, if resistance is denied us, the act of being arrested for resistance becomes resistance […] Come after our resistance, Trump, legally or culturally or both, and America will kick your ass.
Olbermann’s call to action is preceded by similar methods of widespread protest led by Gandhi in India and Benjamin Franklin Bache in the 1790s after he was jailed for publicly criticizing John Adams. Olbermann’s suggestions are a tried and true method for preserving the right to free speech, freedom of the press and the First Amendment.
Watch Olbermann’s latest segment of “The Resistance,” here:
Featured image via video screen capture