Sunday, November 27, 2016

The slow-motion decline: Resisting the gradual erosion of democratic institutions under President Trump -

The slow-motion decline: Resisting the gradual erosion of democratic institutions under President Trump -
by Simon Maloy

***The bulk of Donald Trump’s political life prior to capturing the presidency was devoted to undermining the established institutions of democracy: from the campaign to destroy Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president to his unrelenting hostility towards the press to his pernicious insistences that the election was being “rigged” against him. Now he will have all the levers of the presidency available to him to continue this crusade to erode public confidence in the very political and social institutions that are supposed to keep him in check.
There have been numerous entreaties from politicians of both parties to give Trump the benefit of the doubt and afford him a chance to govern responsibly. But there is nothing in his background to indicate that he is interested or capable of behaving as a responsible chief executive. And nothing he’s done as president-elect should reassure anyone that he’s planning to change.
Trump is sitting on an unprecedentedly massive conflict of interest in the form of a sprawling business empire from which he has so far refused to disassociate himself. The Trump transition team’s work to set up the incoming administration has already been compromised by Trump’s business interests. The advisers and lieutenants Trump is appointing to positions of authority have two common traits: They are loyalists, and they enable Trump’s worst instincts. His chief strategist is a champion of white nationalism, and his potential Homeland Security secretary has plans to reinstitute a registry of Muslim immigrants. Trump’s national security adviser considers the Islamic faith — all of it, not just the radicalized fringes — to be illegitimate and akin to a “cancer.” Even the supposedly “mainstream” staffers Trump has appointed, like chief of staff-designate Reince Priebus, are giving a soft embraceto this extremism.***

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