Monday, November 28, 2016

"Resistance" to Trump

So, there's this petition floating around my campus, and plenty of rhetoric about resisting a Trump administration.  Anyone reading this pretentious, little blog knows that I am not exactly a fan of Trump.  I've even acquired my own little Trump troll who keeps trying to post a comment linking to Trump t-shirt sales for my troubles!  (Sorry to tighten the commenting rules, for those few who do so).

Still, let's talk a bit about "resistance" to Trump.  Resist what?  Dude ain't even president yet.  Will he be a decent president?  No, of course not.  Resistance, though?

Anyway, here's the petition circulating around my campus.  My name is not on it, nor will it be.  Some of it should be easy for everyone to back, like opposition to hate speech.  Trump is a racist, misogynist demagogue, and he inspires people like David Duke to think that their time has come.  How do we know?  Because David Duke says so, loudly and proudly.  No, I'm not linking to that piece of shit.  They should be shamed back into their hiding places.

Then, though, there's other stuff.  There's Point 3 in that petition, about active refusal to comply with immigration authorities regarding raids and deportations.  Under ALL circumstances?

Let's take an analogy to tax codes.  A 99% tax rate is confiscatory and unjust.  Would we be morally justified in resisting it?  Yes.  What about a 10% tax rate?  No.  Some redneck fuckwit (you know him as Cliven Bundy) probably thinks so, but to a reasonable person, no.  So, where is the line at which we cross over into unjust and confiscatory territory?  I don't know.  That's debatable.  However, to take the position that all taxation is theft?  Um, no.  That's Ayn Rand territory.  Grow up.

So, back to immigration.  Let's say Trump passes some law that tells any institution that takes federal funds (mine does) that we have to investigate the legal status of anyone with a Spanish surname, and then hand them over to the Feds if we can't verify their status.  Um, civil rights, anyone?  Equal treatment under the law?

On the other hand, if a criminal sex trafficking operation is being run out of campus, don't we have an obligation, morally, to comply and help shut it down?

Yes, those are extremes.  That's kind of the point of looking for the equivalent of a 1% and a 99% tax rate.  One, you must comply, the other, you cannot comply.  Where is the line?  I don't know.

What I am not comfortable doing is saying that I will not comply without having some specification of the laws and actions with which I am not complying.

Trump is a vile piece of shit, and a racist demagogue.  What will he do, or at least, try to do?  I don't know.  I don't know if he knows.  He's also a moron, constrained by a Speaker of the House who hates him.  That's another relevant point here.  We aren't 1930's Germany.  We have a weak executive in a system of separated powers.  Resistance?  To what?  Condemn hate speech and create an atmosphere conducive to learning?  Yup.  Do that.  But, before we state that we will not comply with the law, maybe we should know what legal actions we won't be complying with...  Just a thought.

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