The Movement Part II: Naming the Movement

The “Tea Party” provided a banner around which people with different interests could gather. A name helps create an identity, a sense of unity, and – probably most important – a sense of momentum.

The Tea Party name accomplished a lot. It evoked the nation’s founding, it evoked standing up to tyranny, it came with ready-designed costumes, and it needed little explanation. In sum, it was a great platform from which to build essential components of a movement.

The anti-Trump movement needs a similarly effective name. It needs to be something that unifies citizens with different interests and concerns, and citizens from different backgrounds and identities. (Recent notable progressive movements – Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter – were and are issue and/or identity specific and thus cannot be expanded to embrace the full universe of progressive causes and identities.)

We need a name that can be a rallying cry at every town hall and protest, that will be used to describe organizers in a living room and members of congress. We need to provide a large umbrella movement that derives legitimacy both from progressive values and from a connection to quintessentially American ideals.

The name “Indivisible” is already being employed in a variety of contexts. There is the Indivisible Guide, created by a group of congressional staffers who call their group Indivisible, which outlines on-the-ground strategies for pressuring congress; several local organizations have already sprung up under the Indivisible banner; and there is even a National Public Radio program named Indivisible – free framing for the movement!

Indivisible is a good name. It sits as a quintessentially American concept in the middle of our Pledge of Allegiance. It’s dictionary definition It connotes power and unity.

We are Indivisible.

It works. It is already being used and has momentum.  Let’s build the banner Indivisible as a force for unity. Let us raise the identity from the the name of specific groups to the name of our movement. Let us identify all our factions as Indivisible:

  • The Indivisible Women’s March
  • The Indivisible Scientist’s March
  • The Indivisible No DAPL movement
  • And so on.


For related content see The Movement Part I: Where is the Movement?, which discusses the broad need for a progressive identity, and The Movement Part III: Defining Images.


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