Saturday, July 22, 2017

Preparing For The Pardons

The Poles are providing a good example of how to counter authoritarianism

I try very hard not to care about what the president tweets, but today was an exception. It is pretty obvious that he has been seriously contemplating a blanket pardon of his family members and underlings. This is not a question of if, but when. When that happens, we won't really be living in a constitutional democracy anymore, but living under the thumb of a personal ruler.

Since we know Trump is going to do this, we need to be prepared. But how? Up until now I had been looking to the 2018 elections as the remedy, but a president who is willing to make a mockery of the rule of law in the service of enriching himself and assisting a foreign nation requires a more immediate response, especially if he were to fire the special prosecutor and issue pardons.

Obviously in any healthy democracy such behavior would result in the removal of the chief executive. But this is in no way a healthy democracy. I am still firmly convinced that impeachment is impossible with a Republican congress, no matter what Trump does or what evidence exists. So where does that leave us?

We need to organize so that we are ready to act when this dreaded day comes. Imagine a general strike and a bank boycott coming right after the pardons.  That only comes from organization. While I am skeptical of the chances of something being organized on such a large scale in such a short period of time, I am also tired of the defeatism I am hearing from so many on the political left. I tire of reading folks on Twitter saying "he will get reelected." Whether that's true or not, this is not the attitude we need at this time. This is the kind of attitude that leads to detached thinking, sitting on the sidelines when everyone is needed on the field.

If we think more needs to be done, then we better start doing it, instead of cynically commenting on how nobody does anything. Once we start moving I think we will be happily surprised at what emerges. In any case, it's the only option.

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