rushthatspeaks: (signless: be that awesome)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
The comparison I am seeing to the election of Trump, over and over again, is to the election of Reagan. An actor, a Hollywood personality, with few genuine political chops, who failed ever upward until he reached the White House; as a president, he literally joked about nuking Russia (have you heard the recording?), became a war criminal so many times over, fucked things up impressively in Central and South America, gave us the plague years (the loss of a generation of our best and brightest), and in the end was in such bad shape from dementia that basically anybody could tell him what to do.

Trump will be worse than Reagan. His targets will be different groups. But there is a limit to how much worse he can be without literally bringing on the apocalypse. Assuming that Trump does not bring on the apocalypse, the eighties passed. Reagan passed. And what were the nineties and two-thousands like? If you went to a queer activist in 1988 and said, same-sex marriage will be legal in this nation inside thirty years, that would have been-- not even bitter laughter. Just not conceivable, out of ambit, ludicrous, couldn't happen. Happened.

There will be horrific casualties, there will be crimes we cannot prevent. There will be the equivalent of the plague years, where communities had to bury their dead with their own hands. It is going to suck.

Thirty years from now, let's have the thousand-teens be the equivalent of the eighties to us. Let's have nobody able to believe how much more progressive things are, how much more free, how much more respecting of human rights. This is the eighties. Let's think of this time that way.

Now, what can Trump actually do, and what can we do about it?

-- He can push The Button, and have a nuclear war.
Directly: not much can be done about this.
Indirectly: contribute and volunteer to nuclear disarmament groups, nuclear watchdog groups, groups promoting the cause of the U.S. honoring its treaties, pro-U.N. groups, peace groups, cultural intercommunications groups.
Consoling Thought: Reagan didn't. Trump is known to be sexually violent, but does not to my knowledge have a history of, like, punching people, and there are no serious allegations that he's ever killed anyone or had anyone killed, so he must have a very slight modicum of control over his temper or he'd be dead or in jail by now. Small things to cling to, but.

-- He can attempt a coup d'etat and try to cancel upcoming elections, get illegal orders carried out, become dictator, &c.
Directly: If the rule of democracy and law in this country breaks down entirely, and there's a war, nothing else I say here applies, and we will have to choose our roles according to our skills and consciences.
Consoling Thought: Two hundred years of peaceful transfer of power casts a long shadow, especially among the apparatus of government, a whole bunch of people in everything from the Post Office to the Coast Guard who have sworn oaths to the Constitution and not to any individual President. I am far more worried about people carrying out illegal Trump orders on a small scale than I am on a loss-of-democracy scale. This is not to say that I'm not worried, because I'm pretty worried, but.

-- He can order people to do things.

At this point, I'm going to go into the only bits of law and policy that I know any damn thing about, namely LGBT issues. I would love to know more about the details of what to do about race, immigration, environmental, and general economic issues, but seeing as how I am a white middle-class person I don't know as much about many things as others do, or as I would like to.

So, an LGBT issue: same-sex marriage. What can Trump order people to do against this, and what can we do about his orders?

-- He issues an executive order that says it's illegal now.
Directly: Uh, he can't actually do that. Not one of his powers, because he's executive branch, not judicial. If he tries, we sue. And sue. And sue. And what the law says is pretty clear. And it's listen to the courts or coup d'etat, those are his options. Sue those who carry out illegal orders. Make it expensive, in time and in money. As long as it's clear what the law says-- and it is, right now-- the lower courts will cite Obergefell as precedent and we will win these cases.
Indirectly: Contribute to Lambda Legal Defense Fund and other LGBT organizations.

-- He tries to back a case to overturn the legality of same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.
Directly: Remember, the Justice he definitely gets to replace is Scalia's seat! Obergefell went through without Scalia; he was in the dissenting minority. Trump needs more than one new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. I repeat: he needs MORE THAN ONE new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. Nominating and seating one Justice will take up some significant chunk of 2017, especially if we protest his nominee like hell and the Democrats in Congress filibuster. Then it's 2018, and we MUST, MUST, MUST take back Congress in the midterms (and we must get them FRIGHTENED before the midterms arrive). If that happens, we can stop him from seating a second Justice should an opening arise.
Indirectly: Support your local Democrats. Raise funds for the midterms. Start planning to get out the vote for the midterms. Figure out the local-level rising stars, or become one yourself-- you could run for the school board. You could run for dogcatcher. Pray, if you pray, and otherwise hope strongly for the healths of Ginsberg, Kennedy, and Breyer. Keep supporting those LGBT organizations.

-- He issues an executive order saying that while of course same-sex marriage remains legal, no clerk or office is required to perform it (on religious liberty grounds, of course), and those which do may mysteriously find their funding cut. (Note: this may also be an illegal order, as Kim Davis went to jail, I believe, but it's less obviously, flagrantly illegal.)
Directly: Track which clerks and offices do and don't perform marriages. Make it clear that public approval is on the side of those who do, and public disdain on the side of those who don't, showily-- in-person protests, advertising, both positive and negative. Donate to support the careers and offices of those who do. Donate to travel funds for LGBT people who need to travel to reach an office that will marry them.
Indirectly: If the government stops funding a service, the community will have to do what we can to fund it ourselves, whatever that ends up looking like.

Now, those are pretty much his three paths of action on any major front: illegal executive order, whereupon we take it to the courts; backing cases to the Supreme Court, at which point there are some things about which we are probably boned (Roe v. Wade, dammit), some things he needs one new Justice for, and some things he needs two, so we must do everything possible to make him getting one hard and two impossible; legal/shady-but-obnoxious executive orders, in which case we must circumvent them, fund the services we need ourselves, and bring public opinion down on our side.

For other things, like possible shitty new immigration laws, we're going to need to fight Congress, which is a somewhat different story and outside the scope of this post.

This is the eighties. Time to make the future change.

Date: 2016-11-11 08:23 pm (UTC)
aedifica: Photo of purple yarrow flowers. (Achillea millefolium)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
Thank you for writing this. Yes.

Date: 2016-11-11 08:54 pm (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
This is very helpful.

Thank you.

Date: 2016-11-12 12:22 pm (UTC)
conuly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] conuly
On the plus side, as has been pointed out before, Trump is inherently amoral and narcissistic. He'll go with the policy that garners him the most narcissistic supply, preferably if it involves a minimum of work. (I don't think any of us ever thought he was a man likely to work himself to death.)

Narcissists can be real nice so long as their egos keep getting stroked. If shameless flattery gets the results we all like, I'm down for that. I just hope the media and the rest of the government can figure this gameplan out.

Date: 2016-11-12 03:20 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Remember, the Justice he definitely gets to replace is Scalia's seat! Obergefell went through without Scalia; he was in the dissenting minority. Trump needs more than one new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. I repeat: he needs MORE THAN ONE new Supreme Court Justice to overturn same-sex marriage in this country. Nominating and seating one Justice will take up some significant chunk of 2017, especially if we protest his nominee like hell and the Democrats in Congress filibuster. Then it's 2018, and we MUST, MUST, MUST take back Congress in the midterms (and we must get them FRIGHTENED before the midterms arrive). If that happens, we can stop him from seating a second Justice should an opening arise.

This is basically what I'm clinging to right now, and the midterms, but the election results were so much more razor thin that what I expected it's hard not to despair about those too (although I really wonder about voter disenfranchisement in places like OH).

Date: 2016-11-16 05:18 am (UTC)
jadelennox: Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Defender of Mexico (politics: norton)
From: [personal profile] jadelennox
This is actually encouraging, since it goes through each dire possibility.

Date: 2016-11-17 08:52 pm (UTC)
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] lokifan
Speaking as a queer Brit, this is very helpful to understanding. And one of the most inspiring posts I've seen.

Date: 2016-11-11 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nineweaving.livejournal.com
Thank you for that sane analysis.

*hugs*

Nine

Date: 2016-11-11 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teenybuffalo.livejournal.com
This is useful; thank you.

Shit, I dunno, maybe I'll run for public office myself. I would previously have held back because of lack of experience and understanding, but the election of Clownpants McFuckstick has shown me that no experience or awareness is required for a successful campaign.

Date: 2016-11-11 07:07 am (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
This is the eighties. Time to make the future change.

Love. Do you want to be Derek Jarman or the Pet Shop Boys?

Date: 2016-11-11 09:57 am (UTC)
ckd: two white candles on a dark background (candles)
From: [personal profile] ckd
My retrospective perspective as an Army brat who spent most of the 80s in a target zone and so never had to worry about "life after the bomb" because it wouldn't be my problem:

We went through the 80s with Reagan and Bush 41 (who, despite picking what then was the most laughable VP imaginable, now seems like a statesman compared to his son, who himself seems like a statesman compared to the President-Elect)...and unbelievable things happened.

The Berlin Wall came down. Prompted in part by that, F. W. de Klerk started the process that led to the release of Nelson Mandela and the peaceful end of apartheid in South Africa. A few years later, Northern Ireland had an IRA ceasefire and a peace process moving forward.

I did not expect any of those three things to happen in my lifetime. (I expected an end to apartheid, but only through a bloody revolution. I like the one that actually happened much better.)

Could some kind of 2020 vision give us a peaceful Middle East, a true climate consensus, and/or something even less imaginable but still wonderful? I don't know, but I can hope.

Date: 2016-11-11 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorispossum.livejournal.com

Thank you for a very rational analysis, esp on the supreme court.  I can't see Trump issuing any of the exec orders on equal marriage that you describe, as I don't think he gives much of a fuck on the issue personally.  But he knows he has to nominate the kind of judge he promised his base, so he'll do that.  As you say, we need to fillibuster like hell on that.  And mass protest, of course.  Ironically the teabaggers have already modelled for us a method of resistance that, although ugly, works.  I worry more about the micro-apocalypses, the daily threats against LGBT people and ethnic minorities by people who feel Trump's victory has given them license.  This has already happened to minorities here in UK after Brexit - eg Polish men attacked and even killed on the street.  I'm expecting to see an increase of sexual assaults on college campuses (half of young white men voted for Trump), more shootings of young black men, and more mass shootings (though not, sadly, at NRA!).  I hope the fightback will be organised, rather than sporadic expressions of rage (I hope the young people on street all voted, and for Hillary).  Million strong marches on Washington + relentless pressuring of local senators and congresswomen and men can hold the worst back for a long time.  We must learn to defend ourselves effectively and, sadly, it's the right who've shown us how.

Date: 2016-11-12 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] q10.livejournal.com
1. The Japanese internment was enacted by executive order, so, like, yeah...

2. The Obama and Bush administrations championed very expansive views of when a citizen or subject can be killed or detained without trial based on an executive determination that they are an enemy combatant, and their claims in this area have not been seriously repudiated.

3. Obama's executive branch has found a lot of trans anti-discrimination protections in the sex discrimination provisions of existing civil rights laws. Most of those are potentially gone as fast as Trump's new appointees can type.

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