Steve parked in fashion … LIVING IN TRUMPLAND

Donald Trump as POTUS – be afraid. Be very afraid.        pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Donald Trump’s surprise election as President of the United States has created deep-seated anxiety among American voters who favored Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Some fear Trump will destroy the environment, bring terrorist attacks to American soil with his inflammatory, hate-filled rhetoric, cause a nuclear war; others fear he will cut off their social security benefits, Medicaid, health insurance. Still others are afraid that Trump will turn America into a quasi-fascist state. These fears are particularly pronounced among women who fear Trump’s misogyny, immigrants who fear being singled out for hate and harassment, the LGBTQ community who fear vice president-elect Mike Pence’s history on gay rights … the list goes on. And on.

I Googled the phrase “Trump anxiety.” Up popped help-line telephone numbers, suicide emergency websites and “Trump anxiety hotlines.” Well, I too have concerns about a Trump Presidency, but they haven’t reached the level of suicide. These are some factors liberal Democrats should keep in mind:

Oldest constitutional democracy

The United States of America is the greatest country in the world. Starting out as a conglomerate of feuding states with competing interests, it managed to defeat the greatest empire since Rome, evolved after a fierce civil over African-Americans to the point where we twice elected an African American President, and flowered into a nuclear monopoly that sent men to the moon. Betwixt these events, America rescued the planet from the twin evils of fascism and communism.

We are the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. Amid a ferocious civil war, Abraham Lincoln went forward with an election for a second term that no one believed he would win. But he did. The 1930s depression would have sparked a class war in any other country. We got instead the calming words of Franklin Roosevelt: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Democrats should keep Roosevelt’s words in mind as Trump raises his right hand in January 2017 to swear fealty to the constitution.

We have survived the challenges of the past 240 years because our government was created by the founders with someone like Donald Trump in mind! They didn’t expect every President to be like George Washington. They expected voters to occasionally elect a Richard Nixon or a Donald Trump.

To mitigate the damages such individuals could cause, they set up a government of checks and balances. Power to create laws, raise revenue, and declare war was restricted to the Congress. Power to command the armed forces (greatly restricted after Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam war and Nixon’s Watergate scandal) and run the executive branch were given the President. Power to interpret the laws to the constitutional provisions is left to an independent judiciary. To safeguard the rights and property of the citizenry, the first Congress passed a “Bill of Rights,” the first 10 amendments to the constitution.

In short, Donald Trump will not be walking into a dictatorship or monarchy.

He won’t be able to push a button and eliminate freedom of the press.

Nor will he able to fulfill some of the more bizarre promises he has made to his supporters.

Members of the military have warned Trump they will not torture prisoners; nor will they kill innocent noncombatants because their family members are terrorists.

There will be 200 years of constitutional precedent in defense of our rights and masses of lawyers both ready and eager to take Trump on.