Jan 28, 2017 Time to mobilize against Trump’s onslaught against immigrants and search for a Scalia clone
A refrain by many people is that it is important to support the office of the presidency and our nationhood by getting behind every new United States president as s/he begins the heavy lifting of the job.
That idea, though, is countered by the fact that the presidency is not a dictatorship, and that healthy dissent is essential in guiding our nation in the right direction, particularly now when the presidency and Congress are controlled by one party (Republicans) and where the Supreme Court will be dominated by Republican appointees once Trump gets the current Supreme Court vacancy filled. That notion is further countered by the fact that Trump already laid bare his alarming agenda long before even capturing the Republican presidential nomination. Trump’s very aversion to mincing words was welcomed by those who supported him and repulsive to those viewing those unminced words as premonitions of the severe damage to come from a Trump presidency.
Clearly, we have a deeply divided American electorate made up of those who abhor and love Donald Trump and everyone in between; those who abhorred and loved Barack Obama and his predecessor Democrat Bill Clinton and everyone in between; and those who are too apathetic to vote in the first place. Those whose candidate loses the presidential election still have their Constitutionally protected right to voice their opposition to the elected president and lawfully and peacefully to mobilize to blunt and thwart that president’s actions that the person finds repugnant.
Trump has moved quickly to put in action or in voice his following long-underlined agenda items that I particularly oppose:
– Seeking a Supreme Court justice in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who was intellectually brilliant but who overall was much more of a liability than a benefit to protecting civil liberties and the Bill of Rights. Trump’s nominations of judges to the lower federal courts also will need to be closely watched.
– Moving against access to federal funds for so-called “sanctuary cities” that represent the best of federalism by refusing to kowtow to the federal government by ratting out information on deportable people.
– Freezing assisting those claiming refugee status, and giving priority to Christians seeking refugee relief. Every nation has an obligation to do its fair share to provide a haven to those being persecuted and with a well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries on such bases as peacefully-held political beliefs, race, religion, gender, and national origin.
– Barring non-United States citizens’ entry into the United States if from Trump’s seven listed predominately Muslim nations. Such religious-based discrimination is even decried by the likes of former vice president Republican Dick Cheney, who otherwise was far from a prize for civil liberties.
– Pursuing construction of a wall separating Mexico and the United States, which will be both incredibly expensive to construct and underlines Trump’s brute force approach to the presidency and his xenophobia. Constructing such a wall also may necessitate depriving people of their real estate through eminent domain laws, and apparently will include construction on terrain that is particularly difficult for such construction.
– Contemplating imposing a high tariff on Mexican imports to help offset the cost of a wall along the Mexican border, which will amount to penalizing the exporters, importers and consumers of the tarrifed products.
How can people successfully mobilize to reverse and blunt such actions by the Trump administration?
– Lawyers can offer their pro bono assistance individually and collectively, including by checking with such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild (I have my deep differences with the Guild, but the group will be a good resource for lawyers to learn where and how to mobilize against Trump’s damaging initiatives, likely without necessitating becoming a Guild member.)
– Voters need loudly and clearly to communicate their views to their members of the United States Congress.
– Voters should keep their eyes on the 2018 Congressional elections to elect candidates who will work against the damaging aspects of Trump’s agenda.
– Voters can build on the positive energy and momentum started with the Women’s March on Washington — and the nationwide and worldwide allied marches — that followed inauguration day.
Unsurprisingly, Trump has been working quickly to put his agenda into action, already having done much of the legwork before he was ever sworn in as president. Those opposing his agenda should waste no time in mobilizing accordingly.