I’ve been seeing a number of my friends on Social Media seemingly panicking over the election results (not to mention the protests in the streets). Please folks, if President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren aren’t panicking, why should you? Please keep the following in mind:
- Mr. Trump does not take office until January. Until then, he is just a private citizen. He still has to testify in his upcoming fraud case, and he is not shielded from his legal problems. He still has to figure out how to address his conflicts of interest.
- All those wild messages you see about proposed cabinet officers and Supreme Court Justices. None of them have been ratified, and they have to get through the Senate, where the Democrats have the power of the filibuster. Sen. McConnell, Majority Leader, has indicated he does not want to get rid of the filibuster. This means that the Democrats have the power to keep unqualified candidates, and those too far to the side ideologically, out of office (just like the Republicans did with them).
- Trump cannot repeal Obamacare wholecloth immediately. He can do a partial repeal, but many regulations will remain in place.
- The Military does not support everything Trump says. In particular, they will follow the Constitution, not unlawful orders.
- Trump will be hamstrung by the nature of the Federal bureaucracy, and the ways the Congress works. He will discover — as Obama did — that the powers of the President are very limited.
- All the existing laws on the books at the Federal, State, and local levels regarding hate crimes have not instantly gone away. His followers who commit hate crimes can still be prosecuted.
- Trump does not have the full support of the Republican establishment. It is likely that in many areas they will not support his proposals, or will join with the Democrats to moderate them.
- Trump will be held to task by those who elected him. What do you think will happen in two years when he hasn’t been able to “blow up Washington” as he promised? Remember, other Presidents have promised the same thing, and have been unable to do so.
- Trump will also be held accountable by Congress. If he commits clear crimes or even somewhat crimes, the spectre of impeachment will be there. Moderate Republicans would be eager to do so, especially to get the more normative Pence into office. Further, Trump likes to win — and at this point, winning means going down in the history books as the greatest President. That won’t happen if he gets impeached or cannot get anything done. There is a high likelihood that the office, combined with the place he will leave in history, will change him.
I didn’t support Trump; I didn’t vote for him. However, he has been elected, and I respect the office of President even if I don’t like the man (a lesson I learned in the Bush years). I remember the transition from Clinton to Bush in 2000, and from Bush to Obama in 2008. It was peaceful, and we survived. Our nation is stronger than Trump, and we can survive at least two years. Now is the time to start finding those Democrats — future-Congresscritters and Senators — and getting them elected into office. Now is the time to elect Democrats to state offices and the Governorships so that when the redistricting happens, we can make fair districts. The pendulum will swing back. It always does. As they sing in Sweeny Todd: “Wait…”.
As for the people most in danger under Trump’s administration: That is the reason not to run away, not to give up. We must stay here and help them, and defend them. What the Government chooses not to do, we can. We can show the power of the people of America.
PS: Gene Spafford also shared this interesting “Don’t Panic” link. Here’s another on why you shouldn’t be worried.
PPS: Here’s an interesting link on how the checks and balances can prevent Trump from becoming a dictator.