Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, January 21, 2017

What If They Gave An Inauguration And Nobody Came?

(Unfortunately, the answer to the question asked by this post's title is: the inauguration happens anyway.)

Since the Trump administration apparently has banned (within hours of its first day in office) the National Park Agency from tweeting because of the following image, it is the least we can do to ensure the image circulates as widely as possible nonetheless. Perhaps the thin skinned tyrant will get in such a snit about being upstaged by the Women's March (like his loss by unprecedented millions and millions in the popular vote) he will devote a few days to a freakout about it that will postpone Republican efforts to destroy healthcare, diplomacy, education, public goods, the economy, the environment by those few days and hence save lives.

Of course, the Trump choice to devote the resources of the administration in its first official press conference to peddling a patently and even hilariously false account of "historical unprecedented crowds" reveals terrifying things -- the priority given to glorification of the Leader above all other issues, public declaration that certain citizens are "enemies" and Constitutionally protected activities like journalism and protest are dangerous or possibly even treasonous, threatening the press and citizens with unspecified reprisals, exhibiting from the first a complete disregard for the regulative power of verifiable truths, even quite obvious truths, and so on -- to those who have been warning for months by now that Trump is an authoritarian figure rather than merely the conventionally stupid evil sort of candidate Republicans usually offer up.

Terrible things are about to happen, but Trump is an unpopular figure with terrible approval numbers with an agenda and attached to Republican majorities with agendas that directly and obviously harm majorities of Americans. Obstruct everything. Don't give an inch. Keep Trump reacting to slights and humiliations. Tear his fragile ego down and tie the Republican Party to his as he falls. Keep the Republicans in disarray. Let those timorous males in the House calculate what loyalty to an historically unpopular White House or what a vote to privatize Social Security or raise the retirement age for working class citizens (and not multimillionaire Senators with guaranteed healthcare, for instance) might mean to their prospects for re-election in two years. Keep them on the defensive: Who compensates those who lose healthcare access or reliable retirement? Who pays for your billionaire tax cuts? Who pays for an erratic belligerent foreign policy? Plaster the faces of sympathetic people suffering from Republican policies -- broken families, scared kids, bullied vulnerable people, treatable conditions wreaking havoc, bankruptcies, foreclosures, suicides, police violence, wreckage demolished by greenhouse storms described as such. Undermine the confidence of these bullies, make them think twice before harming vulnerable people or closing off our investments in our shared futures, let them know they face immediate exposure, ridicule, and eventual recall.

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