What does democracy do post-trump?

We are in a crisis right now. But we have to be able to see a year or two into the future.

What laws, commissions, appointments, agencies, or amendments should, could or would be made in the US to mitigate, or eliminate the chance that we go through something like this again?

Is it avoidable at all?

This is an obsession of mine as I watch the circus parade. People who I trust to give me info and are much closer and wiser to the levers of power, are very worried and confused and it makes me wonder what the next moves are to protect what is being degraded and insulted right now.

Electoral reform is on top of the list I suppose. Mandatory voting, entrance tests for high positions, campaign finance, are all on the table. But what is the path forward?

Thorough finance check of anyone running for high office.

We need to change peoples’ minds. If the people aren’t behind such reforms, they’ll be impossible to put in place. And if they are, the reforms are unnecessary.

If you want those things, you need a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate, or a convention called by two-thirds of the state legislatures. So identify, clearly, what you want and start building those majorities.


The nifty thing about the democratic process is the results tend to reflect the prevailing values of the affected population. Trump, and politicians like him, are not the problem. They are symptoms. Our society no longer values education. Therefore, we are resistant to paying taxes to fund a good basic education for our kids. They grow up incurious and unable to think critically, and are easily manipulated by half-truths, pretty lies, and appeals to baser drives. We don’t need any more election reform than unhackable paper ballots to ensure the actual will of the people is being reflected in the elected positions. But you can’t elect competent representation if you don’t see competence in the mirror in the morning.

This is supposed to be the goddamned land of the free–more laws is NOT what we should be about. Laws are the opposite of freedom and undermine the need to think deeply and broadly about things. Which would be better: that a thief and liar should be prohibited from becoming president, or that the electorate would just naturally be repelled by that idea?

Recover. Basically, those of us in the “other” camp, and indeed much of the world, wait to see if trump is a trend or an aberration. Act accordingly in either case.

So far, things are actually looking fairly good. Given all the crap Trump has been shouting, he actually hasn’t achieved all that much. It is a testament to the US institutions that the executive can be kept in check like that.

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Bleed out.

Electoral reform will mostly have to be tackled on a state-by-state basis. The only federal election we have in the United States is the one where all the electors chosen by each state get together to choose the President and Vice President.

As I say over and over again in these threads, choosing a reform that would have stymied Donald Trump is missing the point. The next unqualified demagogue who comes along won’t have the exact same disqualifications. Oh, Donald Trump didn’t release his tax returns? So we make it mandatory for presidential candidates to do so? Except the next poisonous demagogue will sail right through that checkpoint.

Checks and balances only work when there’s a constituency who demand those checks and balances. If the people don’t care whether the rules are enforced, then no politician is going to care. Or rather, the arcane rules will become just another tool to be wielded against your political adversaries and ignored against your political allies.

It’s not clear what we need. But my suggestions aren’t all in the same category of legislation, I don’t think.

Part of our problem is the polarization in the electorate and the lawmakers themselves. So we know what the fate of the consensus builders has been lately. If they keep doing it it just leaves the OP problem here to some remaining people to try and make the country work ethically, with the pols not cooperating. I’m asking what they are going to do. How can they make change happen, what pressures brought to bear?

Direct election of the President (eliminate the Electoral College).

I feel like I have to point out that everyone said, “there’s no way Donald Trump can even run for office, that will mean he’ll have to disclose his finances and he’ll NEVER do that.” Well, we saw what happened: he just didn’t give a fuck, and ran and won anyway, as I kept predicting would happen to the disbelief of everyone I know. “His taxes! His taxes!” No! He gambled successfully on them not enforcing the financial disclosure at all, and he was right. They didn’t enforce it.

Right now we are living with neither. But we are going to have laws no matter what. Why not work with the tools we have?

I’ve never heard anyone say how many laws should we have. They say “no more…”, but they said it at different historical times. It’s always the “last straw” though.

To me, “land of the free” is freedom from predatory monopolies, abuse of the environment, and other things, and I will not be a gun owner, so I need laws for my freedom.

I wish I could agree with this. But it really seems like the things trump is “failing” at are a lot of distractions. To Trump himself they are life and death to be sure. He is an ethical monster about to be found out and prosecuted by the USA. But the Republican pols are piling up all the advantages they can now and it will be decades of fixing that’s needed, if some of these things are even going to be fixable.

Also there is one thing trump has not failed at or even waivered: He has supported a party line while speaking that is unmistakeably anti-democracy. Destablization of democracies, esp of the US, and supporting polarizations in the US, and sympathizing with antidemocratic events in the world. He is obeying masters, and also whistling to antidemocracy people in the US.

Well it’s a dynamic situation and not static. You don’t let criminals be criminals because they just do it anyway and no one cares. The insight that demagogues are adaptable doesn’t mean you have open house on the presidency.

And rules must be written even if one day they will be exploited. That’s why it’s a dynamic and not static thing. That’s why they make laws and change them.

I just can’t see why a dude can’t vote without an ID but someone can be president without a tax return.

I suggest you read Jon Meacham’s latest book: The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.

Listen to an actual presidential historian instead of the loud-mouths on cable news channels.

You mean my man Jon?

He is one of them too, baked into the OP. We are all in it together. This is an object lesson. We need to give up on belly button culture (Innies and Outties, me vs you)

I think the key will be to have him and everything he represents be so thoroughly discredited that his name is only ever used as a cautionary tale or as a negative comparison. I am thinking of such American figures as Nixon, McCarthy, General Custer and Benedict Arnold.

I think this will happen eventually as current prejudices evolve into historical objectiveism, the question is how long will it take.

No, you’re not. Like a turd, Trump will pass.


Quite the reverse, actually: it no longer values those without - or with lesser - education. It equates a lack of education with a lack on intelligence. Both Trump and Brexit are reactions to this. The elites look down and proclaim, and the proles say, “Fuck that, you lying arseholes!”

A basic civics/poli-sci test to vote or forget it. It’ll be easy. Like: “The US President controls the price of oil - True or False?”