Saturday, November 26, 2016

ACLU -- Now More Than Ever

On October 3, I wrote about the American Civil Liberties Union, and their upcoming visit to Charleston County Democratic Women.  Then along came Hurricane Matthew, and the meeting was postponed.  And then, along came the presidential election, and the world truly shifted.  So that the rescheduled presentation by the ACLU at CCDW seems even more relevant than it was two short months ago.

It is obvious that during the upcoming administration, the only people whose rights will not be violated are those of the Trump family.  Now, don't get me wrong, Mike Pence is the religious right's version of Dick Cheney, and he deserves whatever he gets.  But I am betting he has had to compromise every day since he has accepted that unholy deal for power.

There is already a line of supplicants who have or are in the process of being humiliated by Trump.  In true godfather fashion, he publicly banished Chris Christie as a favor to the hideous Jared Kushner, his son-in-law.  He has forced Rudy Giuliani to scrape and bow while keeping him in the wings waiting for the announcement regarding his choice for secretary of state.  And the media is all over the rumor that Mitt Romney will have to publicly apologized to Trump for his (truly justified) attacks during the campaign.

But those are his friends, those with political power and status, ethically questionable though it may be.

Trump loves to push the powerful around.  But he also has a special place for the rest of us.  Donald Trump likes us to be there to work for him, to flatter him, to need him, to be at his mercy.  He doesn't see us as individuals, not even the ones who stood out at his rallies: "Look at my African-American over there."  Of course he usually has a hard time distinguishing all but our dominant characteristics, so at another rally he called another black supporter a "thug" and had him thrown out.

Donald Trump will go after pretty much all of us in the end.  We once, just a couple of months ago, could talk about groups that are getting discriminated against and vilified.  In this new America, there is not anyone outside of the Trump family that is not at risk.  I have been losing sleep over the thought of mass deportations and internment camps, journalists and Hillary Clinton being imprisoned for being considered threats.  I have worried about workers who will lose their admittedly shaky claim to wages and benefits, and those who have been covered by Obamacare, as well as the poor who have relied on what little Medicaid had to offer.  I have thought about the increased risk that union leaders and peaceful protesters will now face.  I have worried about those whose skin is darker, who already feared walking down the street or wearing a hijab, those whose sexual identities make them vulnerable to bullying and violence.

Last night, though, I lost sleep because I heard that Paul Ryan is salivating at the thought of putting social security and medicare on the chopping block.

So, we are all truly in this mess together.

Yes, there are more of us.  But the others have power, and money, and too often even the law and lawyers on their side.  Before Trump, cops killed innocent people with impunity, and resented having their actions called into question, even if more often than not, they were not made to pay.  And Trump has bragged that he will be "the law and order president."

What we need right now are the organizations who have stood by us in the past, and fought for us.  Groups like the ACLU.

On Thursday, Executive Director Shaundra Scott and Legal Director Susan Dunn will be the speakers at the Charleston County Democratic Women monthly meeting.  It will be held at the  Riverview Holiday Inn at 6:00.  The cost of the dinner buffet is $20.  If you can, please donate to both the ACLU and Charleston County Democratic Women.  These organizations will continue to exist and be strong as long as we stand behind them.

I am looking forward to this meeting, even more than I was in October.  I hope to see you there.

(RSVP to Jan Leonard, or at the Charleston County Democratic Women Facebook page, under events.)


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