The night of November 8 brought a storm to Washington, not of hope but of alienation and resentment. Trump’s improbable win has handed authoritarian Republicans the keys to all three branches of government.
In North Carolina, surveillance state apologist Richard Burr beat out ACLU chief Deborah Ross; in Wisconsin, Russ Feingold, the sole and honorable vote in the Senate against the PATRIOT Act in 2001, lost out to incumbent Ron Johnson. During the campaign, Trump enthused about the NSA, and called for Snowden’s execution. For those concerned about the surveillance state, there is little indeed to smile about this morning.
In this somber dawn, there are nevertheless a few potential points of light. First, the hideous cavalcade of horrors that was the presidential campaign challenged the narrative of a heroic FBI among partisans of both parties. Few indeed in Washington should think it reasonable to reward Jim Comey with more ability to spy on our communications, after this. Second, blue states continued to make limited progress against the drug war, by passing initiatives legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Third, the campaign made the right wing view Julian Assange and Wikileaks with favor, making it possible that the new administration will treat them with a less heavy hand. Last, Trump’s voter base are likely to have little patience with the kind of DC corruption that swirls around the national security state.
Each of Restore The Fourth’s chapters, and every surveillance activist, must gird up to fight passionately in the months ahead. There will be more surveillance. There will be suspicionless searches, seizures, arrests and deportations of Trump’s least favored groups: Muslims, immigrants, and people of color. We must harness the outrage of ordinary people across the country to retake our rights. Neither your religion, nor your beliefs of any kind, nor your race, make the State your master, or give it the right to pry at will into your affairs. No matter what retaliation will result, we will hold true to that vision, and work for better days ahead.
Please, give today to help us Restore The Fourth.