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Will Police in the Trump Era Embrace Accountability?


Will Police in the Trump Era Embrace Accountability?

Rachel Levinson-Waldman

Six weeks before Donald Trump takes office, there are growing fears about what he is likely to do with America’s powerful law enforcement apparatus.


While understandable that there a plethora of such articles in during a time where power transitions from one adminstration to the next, I am noticing a theme in the same that points to partisanship.

I am not going to speak to this authour directly as she is one I do not recall reading here before on a frequent basis but more to those by Reich and Solomon, Nichols and Eskow and Moore.

They too all speak about "when trump takes power’ and how bad it will get, and what might happen to liberties , freedoms, the environment the cause of peace and the like and how the citizen must resist and organize opposition to the same. My problem is where were they 5 and 8 years of when Obama enacting the Policies that lead to this? Why were they not calling for that same resistance ? The Republicans after all are just part of the problem. The problem is there no matter which party in power and is a systemic one.

As this authour points out, the Militarization of the Police forces was non partisan. The filling of prisons with people was non partisan. The inequitable distribtution of wealth was non partisan. Both parties played a role as they worked to entrench the power of the 1 percent. Those 1200+ citizens killed by the Police each year, those 2 million plus in prisons and that increasing rate of poverty and homelessness which leads to higher crime rates all occurred under Obama’s watch just as they were happening under Bush before him.

This should not be seen as the Trump Era. It should be seen as the Era of the 1 percent , one that will last far longer than a 4 or 8 year term and one that has been there longer then the last 8.


It is grimly fascinating to get these discussions of current and contemporary abuse of power within the US as though they were problems with Donald Trump.

Trump is sure to be guilty of plenty given time, but he has not taken office. That does not mean that anyone should wait to criticize him. It does mean that discussing current problems as being his fault means hiding the culprits.

There is an enormous loss in these sorts of hypocrisy that I suspect goes misunderstood. To a large extent, we must judge the people with whom we form coalitions by their methodologies, though of course we cannot do so completely. These days, when the methodologies of some colleagues whom I know are to at least a great extent well meaning include suppression of news and commentary, disruption of democratic process, the obscuring of high crimes and treasons, I find myself reviewing very carefully with whom I might be aligning at the most apparently innocent request for support with the most obvious and sympathetic project. I can hardly believe that there are not many who were young supporters of Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can” or Democratic loyals who just pushed for Sanders who will have quite reasonably concluded that they were mistaken or that the events were and are hopeless.

Maybe some will find the problem easier to relate to if in the context of a coalition with Rand Paul. Most of us here are against mass digital surveillance and against drone strikes, no? Well, of all the Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, Rand Paul was the one who stood up and filibustered against them. That constitutes an authentic commonality, but to the best of my recollection, few of us here acknowledged it.

Now, I am only surmising, but it seems to me that this must be because Rand Paul’s views about social programs are so horrible. So here we are; Rand Paul cannot get more than scraps of support for standing solo to oppose drone strikes and massive governmental and corporate violations of constitutionally guaranteed privacies because he opposes care for the defenseless.

Now, standing with Rand Paul against mass surveillance should not mean that one need be against single payer healthcare. As much as I regarded and regard a vote for Clinton in '16 as a mistake, someone’s strategic vote for should not convince me that he or she is in favor of rigged elections, black ops coups, suppression of news as “false,” drone strikes, surveillance, ceding of local and national sovereignty to international finance and drug and oil cartels as part of secret so-called “trade” deals, bull-baiting Russia and China, Israeli genocide, or the strewing masses of refugees across multiple continents–gee, where does this stop?

On the other hand, if I send money or otherwise contribute to a Bernie Sanders because he does indeed support good things and do good things, will the produce of my support turn on a dime with him to support all of the above, at least in the person of the candidate who embodies them? Frankly, it is only responsible to ask. And if I did, when an email comes by for me to sign or a request for funds or a knock on the door, how do I know that I have gotten an honest answer? Funds given to Democratic candidates were diverted first to the Clinton nomination, and then even to the Trump nomination, by the DNC.

Does it not seem reasonable that I might be resentful about this?

Having Republicans run the Senate, House, and presidency is sure going to be not fun, and there really is no point waiting to talk about it–in some realistic fashion. But part of that is acknowledging that having that is far less a measure of working class or rural ignorance than a measure of Democratic Party betrayal. Skipping over that continues it.


In addition to the “legal” law enforcement factions, one of my main new fears is the unspoken go-ahead for unlawful, vigilante “enforcement” systems to perpetrate their atrocious will on dissenters of Trumpland.

SuspiraDeProfundis - You are so right about the lack of moral outrage from (alleged) progressives in the last eight years as Obushma expanded the atrocious policies of the Shrub and his Dick by leaps and bounds! It’s the main reason the PNAC puppeteers appointed Mr. Hopey/Changey president in the first place. Because partisan-blinded Democrats would defend the very same atrocities they’d scream out against if a Republican were in the White House. Obama is also a great pacifying orator. He spouts the most WONDERFUL words! But his deeds are every bit as (and in some cases MORE) criminal as the last administration. If McCainiac had been elected, the PNAC gallery would have had a hell of a time trying to pass what they were able to under the (NO-due process assassin), Mr. Constitutional Scholar.