America, get a grip and take a breath!
ETA: At the risk of being as "star-crossed" as Cassandra, I am re-submitting the essay below for your consideration or re-consideration. I never dreamt it would play out this soon after inauguration, but here we are: The electorate has protested, federal courts have been doing their job, the Dow Jones has plunged, we've had an acting Attorney General (and perhaps an ICE offical) has refused to do the bidding of the President, etc. and the Republic stands, all as predicted below.
Between the Chanukkahristmaswanzaa and December 31, while the hours of darkness are beginning to lower, comes a pause in the annual celebrations that is known as the grown ups' hour (deepest apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).
Since Trump won the Presidency, mainstream media's hair has been on fire, as it strives to panic the populace into believing that a Trump administration will end of the world as we we know it. Meanwhile, the same people who've been "schooling" me about how powerless President Obama allegedly is have been HennyPennying as though President Trump will be--nay, is--as omnipotent as they claim President Obama is powerless. And, of course, omnipotent President Trump wants to do only terrible things. (While we're on the subject, hysteria over a President-Elect's expressing an opinion about a UN resolution is media hair on fire, not having "two Presidents at the same time.")
I solemnly promise: We will have plenty of time--and probably reason--to panic pointlessly about Trump after his inauguration (pointlessly, because we don't have impeachment powers). For now, though, for the love of whatever passes for sanity in the U.S., take a breath. Or, as they said sensibly across the pond during World War II, with archetypcal British understatement through archetypally stiff upper British lips, "Keep calm and carry on." After all, it was no shock that either Trump or Hillary was going to win in November, was it? (While this bit may indeed be a surprise to some, it's also true: a Hillary win may have been even worse for the left--and therefore for the nation and the world--than a Trump win.) In any case, I will share some thoughts that may aid in keeping calm, at least until Inauguration Day:
First, Trump is not the be all and end all of Republicans; the Presidency is not the be all and end all of the federal government (as we were told every time anyone complained about President Obama); the federal government is not the be all and end all of governments within the U.S.; and all the governments in the world combined are not the be all and end all of things that can make your life better or worse.
Second, Trump will be checked in many ways. Republicans will be something of a check on Trump (for good or ill). The fate of all politicians, pundits, strategists, hangers on, etc. depends upon the reputation and fortunes of their own political Party. And, to be fair, many of them are grateful to their own Party. Likely, it was for that reason that it was Republicans, not Democrats, who got Nixon to stop stonewalling and resign; and it was Democrats, not Republicans who made sure that the ironically-named Weiner would not be sending any more dick pics from the Capitol bym. IMO, Republicans are not going to let Trump venture but so far into Bizarro World. (That's the good news. The bad news is that Trump did promise some good things while campaigning; but someone(s) seem(s) to be changing his views about those issues to the standard rightist positions.)
Next, our government has three co-equal branches and various other checks and balances, both legal and practical. In the White House itself, Trump will have both White House counsel and personal counsel, most likely smart, experienced lawyers with good reputations. He will also have other professional advisors, including Chief of Staff Reince Preibus, who just put a chunk of his life into taking the Republican Party from "autopsy" to more powerful than ever. I doubt that anagram man will just stand by if Trump seems about to undo all that. There will also be Cabinet Secretaries, generals, economists, etc. (both the good news and the bad news).
Then, Congress has explicit Constitutional power to impeach, and therefore implicit power to oversee the Executive branch and the Judicial branch. Already, Republican members of Congress have been saying publicly that one of their first priorities will be Article I powers. IOW, they claim that their first priority is ensuring that Trump (for one) will not be a Unitary Executive. Even if they do not follow through, there's only so much that even a Unitary Executive can do without Congress. (For example: http://caucus99percent.com/content/did-obama-draw-red-line-syrian-sand-d...) I'm guessing Trump has already heard quite a lot about everything in this paragraph, including impeachment, especially from Ryan, McConnell and Priebus. (BTW, let's see if Congressional Democrats are as strong when in the minority as Republicans have been, or if Democrats will do their usual: pretending helplessness, whether in the majority or the minority.)
Then, there is the weakest branch--and the most powerful. The Judicial Branch cannot act on its own initiative: It must wait until someone sues and the lawsuit meets requirements of standing, mootness, etc. And then, it can only decide the case before it. In those respects, it is weak. But, once all that happens, it can declare unconstitutional anything that any state government and any other branch of the federal government has done that is not consistent with the federal Constitution. The SCOTUS can also overrule its own prior decisions. All that ain't nothin.' And, of course, the massive bureaucracy of all three branches grinds along relentlessly, no matter who is in the Oval Office. Other nations, even reactions of the stock market, will check Trump, too.
Please don't misunderstand: I expect that Trump will be, at best, a typical conservative President, only more of an embarrassment than even Dimson. And I abhor even the best case I anticipate. But, my hair is not on fire. I firmly believe that the world and the nation will survive Trump, just as they survived over thirty-five years of Obama, Dimson, Bubba, Poppy and Ronnie.
Meanwhile, what has your Governor and state legislature been doing for you lately--and what have you done about it? Are votes in your state on paper ballots that are hand-counted? Insurance companies and other businesses in your state getting regulated satisfactorily? Your state reps and state senators doing a great job, passing good laws and only good laws? Is your city or town hall responsive? Drinking water healthful? How about public and (gulp) charter schools? Are your local taxes fair, or is Granny's home getting taxed more than the local Hyatt? Trash getting picked up? Streets getting cleaned and plowed? Potholes fixed? Does your power company simply get away with outages during summer months and storms? Are trees getting planted around your city or town, as well as in public parks? Any corruption in city hall or the town council? How do you know? How about you? Are you doing all you can to improve or maintain your health and the quality of your own life and of those about whom you care? Are you doing all you can to better the lives of the 90%? If so, well done, you! Many of us probably are not. I, for one, am certain that I can do better as to every issue I've mentioned in this essay.
As a citizenry and as individual humans, especially the "left of the left," we have 99 problems. While Trump is certainly one of them, he's far from the only one. He may not even be the biggest one. The task confronting the left as a citizen constituency is especially huge. http://caucus99percent.com/comment/227928#comment-227928 Calm down. Laser focus on what you can do to improve your life, the lives of your loved ones, and the lives of the 90%. How might you and I might contribute most effectively? Those are the things that should have our hair on fire!
Ena Squire-Brown leaving her then recently-bombed home to marry R.A.F. officer J.C. Martin in 1940
Unidentified London homemakers during the blitz