Donald Trump’s loaded campaign catchphrase, “Make America Great Again” was a not-so-subtle ploy to tell white blue collar voters that what America really needs to do is return to a mythical 1950’s when there were fewer minorities, white people were superior to all races, made high wages and couldn’t fail at living out the American Dream. However, the haywire TARDIS Trump has tried to fit America into may be landing a decade or two later than planned. The civil unrest and resistance of the 1960’s and 1970’s may very well be where we land on January 20, 2017 when Trump becomes President.
Protests have spread across the nation in response to Trump’s win…and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. Once he begins turning his racist and misogynist rants into policy, once the Justice Department is transformed into The Injustice Department, once the ACA, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are wired for demolition…the shock, fear and dread that most Americans are feeling right now may give way to outrage and protest that pours into streets and Washington DC.
And surprisingly, it won’t just be civilians defying and challenging Trump and the GOP Congress. The LAPD has already stated that they will not cooperate with Trump’s plan to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants. A variety of unnamed sources in the military state that not only are they dismayed and concerned about Trump being their Commander in Chief but have vowed not to follow orders that are against the law including Trump’s wanting to bring back waterboarding and other torture. Cities and states will also stand up to Trump on a variety of his unAmerican policies, there could be a genuine constitutional crisis confronting Trump and his Republican cohorts.
As any reasonable person is justifiably alarmed at what terrible things a mentally unstable person like Trump may do as President without any checks and balances from a Republican Congress, the power of the people to protest and resist a leader unfit to lead them should not be underestimated.
If voting rights are suppressed with the cooperation of Trump’s Justice Department, minorities are targeted and racism is further emboldened, women lose control over their own bodies to male bureaucrats, the social safety net is torn apart and the economy is severely tipped to pour more into the laps of the wealthy while the 99% are buried deeper in debt and trapped in lower paying jobs…more and more Americans will be driven to openly fight back. Even some Trump voters.
Trump won the presidency with a campaign of bigotry, misogyny, lies and hatred towards all those who weren’t part of his base. His presidency is predicated on a viciously divided America. He takes office with negatives between 60% and 70% and having lost the majority of voters in the election to Hillary Clinton. There is no mandate for the extremist agenda he appears ready to unleash. There is no “honeymoon” for overt racists who rise to power in America. Trump may not have Democrats in a strong position to disrupt his plans but unrest and protest across the country may do just that.
Under President Obama, we did see the rise of racists around the country, the growth of militias and anti-government (that is, anti-government when it’s run by someone who’s not a white bigot) types in government and among citizens. We did see protests sponsored and manufactured by the Kochs against the ACA , Obama and Dems that did develop into genuine citizen movements…from which Trump and his Presidency have oozed. But they didn’t and still don’t represent a majority of Americans. The majority of Americans is represented by those Trump has whipped up hatred towards. And to be clear, Obama and Dems didn’t actually represent a threat to Republicans’ personal safety or existence.
In 2017, Americans and immigrants will have justified concerns about threats to their safety and lives generated by the President of their country. Trump’s Thugs are already “celebrating” his victory by committing a growing number of hate crimes against women and minorities across the country and online. The policies noted above and many more are intended to inject greater fear and instability in society, which only helps strongmen stay in power. This is the formula for generating mass civil protests and civil disobedience.
Trump may very well have far more at the top of his priority list than what he wants to do, if a majority of the American people are standing against him and protesting widely during his 4 years.
We haven’t quite been in such an unimaginably horrible situation before but Americans did rise up against their President in the 1960’s/1970’s of Nixon and the 2000’s when Bush and Cheney were so thoroughly destroying America. Both detestable Presidents did do plenty of profound damage to the country during their reigns but the people stood up to them and rejected them. There is historical precedent that the same will happen in the Trump years, he will be facing battles with the American people in every direction and a man of his temperament wouldn’t be expected to cope with that very well. It may lead to some terrible situations but it should demonstrate to an even bigger majority of voters that this man is incapable of being President and must be replaced in 2020.
President Obama endured unthinkable abuse, disrespect and hatred from Republicans as the first black President. However Americans stand up to legitimate threats posed to their safety and lives by Trump will pale in comparison but will be vital in limiting the damage he intends for most Americans. It will also help to elect a Progressive Democrat in 2020 who can work to repair the destruction Trump does to America.