At around midday today, President-elect Trump will become President Trump, and this country will no longer have President Obama to protect us from what’s coming. I know that everyone reading this right now feels a huge sense of dread about that. There’s a lot of fear about what’s going to happen. How much the world will change. Will we become an authoritarian government? Will President Trump take away healthcare for millions? Roll back the progress we’ve made where it concerns civil rights? Take away jobs in the arts? Destroy legal services? Take away a woman’s right to abortion? Build a wall? Will police brutality go on the rise again? Will Muslims and Mexicans be deported? Will the poor get poorer and the rich get richer at an even faster pace? Will journalist be rounded up? Will he start a nuclear war?
Maybe. And with Donald Trump, you never know because this country has never had a President like him.
But if there is one reason to take heart, it is this. No POTUS has ever been able to effectively govern without the will of the people. Right now, Trump has the numbers, but he doesn’t have the will. He’s coming in as the least popular President in modern history. He has, so far, displayed a staggering level of incompetence. He has no idea how to govern. His cabinet, even if they are all confirmed, has no idea what they’re doing. There’s no unifying vision. Donald Trump is incapable of working nicely even with Republicans. He’s only managed to fill something like 30 of 690 appointed executive positions, so far, and that’s in part because his attention span is so short, and in part because no one wants to work for him.
He’s also coming in as the most scandal-plagued President ever to take office. There are massive conflicts of interests. There are massive FEC violations. There are investigations underway into possible collusion with the Russians. The confirmations of his cabinet appointees has slowed. There is even a defamation lawsuit being leveled against him.
Yesterday, 10,000 people attended his inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial. 400,000 people attended President Obama’s in 2009. For some reason, I find that incredibly heartening.
Meanwhile, the resistance movement has never started earlier. There will be massive protests all weekend against him. Dozens of Congressmen and women have refused to attend his inauguration. There were over 450 community planning meetings around the country last weekend alone. Congressional phone lines have rang like they never have before. Congressional representatives are afraid. They’re dodging their constituents. If Trump manages to enact any of his policies, the resistance is only going to grow, to get louder.
Remember what the Tea Party was able to do in 2010 against a popular, competent President with the will of the people behind him and no ethical scandals? Imagine what we can do against an unpopular, ineffective President with historically low approval ratings and a new scandal every day?
We got this, y’all. We just have to stay smart, stay energized, and stay focused.
If there’s one note of caution, it is this: Some of the people who read this site every day may never personally feel the real pinch of a Trump presidency. I know what the demographics of our readers are. I mean, look: I’m a middle-class white dude. His policies are designed to improve my situation. But I also know that most of our readers have been marginalized in some way over the course of your lives, because you’re a woman, or a person of color, because you’re queer, or you grew up in poverty, or because you’re a geek, or a nerd, because you’ve been sexually abused, assaulted, or bullied, or you’re a blue-state liberal living in a red state, or because you watched Community instead of Big Bang Theory. I think it’s been that marginalization that has unified our core readership over the last 13 years. In some way, you’ve all been outcasts.
Just remember that, no matter what the situation in your lives is today. Never let them underestimate the compassion you have for others, because it’s that compassion for others that is going to have to drive us forward over the next four years. We’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re fighting for our values, for the lives and well-being of others, and for future generations.
We are fighting for goodness. Now, let’s go out there and fuck some shit up.