Where to start? We could start at the beginning, talking about how his political career was built on the “birther” conspiracy theory, an attack on President Obama with no basis in fact that Trump revived when it began fading, and kept supporting long after it had been proven false.
We could talk about how much of his success is based on attacks on minorities and the first amendment.
We could talk about the election. That would include things like the cottage industry publishing made up Donald Trump propaganda. From satirists like Paul Horner who were taken seriously to the Macedonian town running over one hundred pro-Trump sites.
We could talk about the Russian espionage that directly supported Trump’s campaign.
We could talk about the highly unusual statements the FBI released that aided Trump’s campaign.
Or we could talk about what kind of president he’s going to be.
We could talk about his selection of the author of a neo-Nazi resurgence as chief strategist.
We could talk about his clear preference for racists and conspiracy theorists in his administration.
We could talk about his continuation of the unpresidential behavior many assumed or hoped he would discard once the campaign had ended.
Or we could talk about the fact that his conflicts of interest are already serious enough that experts from past presidential administrations are talking about them being unconstitutional.
But I think the most important thing to talk about now is the fact that Republicans control the Presidency, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and are likely to regain their majority on the Supreme Court.
In the days before and after the election, I heard many claims that Donald Trump wouldn’t be so bad as president because the Constitution would keep him in check. But the constitution is “just words.” It is only as strong as the will of Congress and the judiciary to enforce it. Keep in mind that the story of his election is that of an aggressive, vindictive man and a parade of unexpected victories over political norms and the very people who now must keep him in line. We should not take for granted their ability to stand up to him. We, the public, need to hold our representatives accountable just as they need to hold Trump accountable. We need to demand that they not let partisan loyalty, fear of reprisal, or desire for personal power and success prevent them from standing up to Trump wherever he breaks the public trust.
As a resident of Indiana district 12, I’ve found my representatives contact numbers. They are:
Representative Peter Visclosky (D) IN: 219-795-1844 DC: (202) 225-2461
Senator Joe Donnelly (D) IN: 202-224-4814 DC: (202) 224-4814
Senator Daniel Coats (R) 317-554-0750
I intend to call regularly and ask that my representatives not just keep my own political views in mind, but be aware of things that should be bipartisan, like upholding the first amendment and rejecting the elevation of dangerous people in the White House. I ask that you do the same.