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Hope for progressivism in the wake of Trump's election

election 2016

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George Washington University

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Hope for progressivism in the wake of Trump's election

The election of Donald Trump has fired up local Democrats

Becky Gardner

1.9.17

The Trump presidency is like a dark cloud here to rain on every pride parade, protest, and marginalized person. But, my friends, it appears as though we have found a teeny tiny silver lining. Our local lawmakers are starting to stand up for us. Although Trump has yet to take office, several mayors and governors have already demonstrated preparedness to counteract his potentially harmful policies. Such progressive action at the local level is rare, if not unprecedented.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York is the perfect example. On November 21, de Blasio gave a 40-minute speech promising to shield New York City from Donald Trump. He denounced stop-and-frisk police tactics. He promised to protect immigrant families at risk of deportation. He swore to take legal action if Trump attempted to create a Muslim registry. “We ain’t changing,” he declared to an exuberant crowd.



Now that we have a president-elect tweeting hate speech, local Democratic politicians are suddenly realizing that their progressivism isn’t “too radical.”

De Blasio is one of many. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested that the state develop a police force specially designed to counter hate crimes. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan for a legal defense fund that will protect undocumented immigrants. The mayors of Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and Denver have all made statements in support of people whose livelihoods could be threatened come January 20.

Mayor de Blasio delivers speech in resistance to Trump policies (Photo via New York Daily News)

Bear in mind that police violence, deportation, and discrimination are problems older than dirt, but only recently have local Democrats become activists. Now that we have a president-elect tweeting hate speech, these politicians have suddenly realized that their progressivism isn’t “too radical.”

Take immigration. President Obama is often considered a champion of immigration rights. This is due to DACA, the program designed to protect immigrants who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children. Because DACA was a win for the Dems, Obama made a concession to Republicans by agreeing to step up immigration law enforcement. Deportations spiked, surpassing the number of deportations under Bush. That’s a lot of broken families.

Mayor de Blasio and Mayor Garcetti didn’t have anything to say about deportations under Obama, but they have a lot to say about future deportations under Trump. There must have been something about the hatred in Trump’s voice when he uttered the words “bad hombres.” Whatever it was, I am thrilled to see local elected officials show some gumption. I firmly believe that most change occurs at the local level.

We’re in for a helluva four years, but should we make it out alive, we may find that the lawmakers on the liberal side are more prepared to promote substantive social progress.

Buckle your seat belts, kids. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.