As of yesterday, Donald Trump is officially the President-Elect of the United States. Any naive hope that Republican electors would refuse to support a winning candidate has been dashed. Any expectation that the GOP would seriously push for investigation into a foreign power’s intervention in our electoral process is crushed. There is plenty of blame to go around for the state we find ourselves in.
- The last two Presidents at least have normalized the elevation of executive power in order to get their way.
- The Democrats put forward a deeply divisive candidate.
- The Republican primary candidates put personal ambition before country and refused to coalesce around a single alternative to Trump, and then quickly fell over themselves to lick his boots.
- The media failed everyone by abrogating the duty they constantly espouse to inform the electorate. Rather than truly accepting this responsibility, they will continue to blame online tabloid journalism and the social media outlets that have destroyed their business models.
But, as with any election, we are to blame. As an electorate, we allowed ourselves to vote for a man who would rob us of the form of government that has helped preserve our freedom for more than 2 centuries.
I expect Donald Trump to be an extremely popular President, so we’re probably looking at 8 years. If he governs like I expect he will continue to rile people up, promising the moon. He may even deliver some victory or economic boom every once in while, but he will do it by shredding any civic norm that gets in his way. He will dismantle Constitutional protections, exploit conflicts of interest, and use the force of “law” against any enemy that confronts him. How will we resist?
I have no answer, but I do know that I will do my best to look out for those who might be scapegoated or targeted. I will teach my children about basic civics, including the separation of powers and the Bill of Rights. I will look for ways to resist authoritarianism and instill civic virtue in my home and community. When the truth no longer matters in the public square, this may be the only resistance with a chance.