A week into Trump’s presidency it is already clear how the new administration is going prosecute its election promises and objectives. Here’s a short mapping of twenty-odd tactics in play or are muted to come into play shortly. While protests and individual acts of resistance may have some effect, it is clear that those opposed to Trump will need their own organized playbook of tactics to counter each of those listed below. And these need leadership and coordination as the more fragmented and dispersed the response, the less effective it will be. Please feel free to use the comments section to add to the list of tactics and to suggest responses.
- Use power to further the interests of corporations, the uber-wealthy and conservative ideology.
- Maintenance of power at all costs and put in place structures and processes that work to ensure maintenance of power into the future.
- To manipulate and reshape the political and legal landscape, polity, institutions and measures.
- Enact new and undo/rollback existing legislation and programmes, and deepen privatization.
- Remove people’s voting rights – cast doubt on legitimacy of some voters and voting procedures; purge people from voter registration; make it more difficult to register, etc.
- Gerrymander – redraw the boundaries of election districts to ensure it is difficult for Democrats to secure enough seats and balance of power regardless of the popular vote.
- Push through restricting legislation that limits powers of administrations in democrat-held constituencies.
- Claim executive power for and rule on issues/domains, regardless of statuary basis, on the assumption will not be challenged (and if is challenged ignore and continue threats/bullying).
- Use budget and legal sanctions or threats of sanctions to bully agencies and jurisdictions that resist executive power.
- Appoint people to senior posts in organizations/agencies that are diametrically opposed to the values and logics of those organizations/agencies and have a vested interest in halting their work.
- Create manufactured crises – declare issues that have been on-going managed issues as crises that need specific interventions (such as border with Mexico, immigration, etc. with exceptions such as multiple gun deaths; they are everyday, normal events).
- Declare states of emergency/exception to override other legislation and codes of ethics, etc.
- Create personal exceptions, such as not properly disinvesting from companies or declaring taxes.
- Gag government employees and strictly control the flow of information from official sources.
- Undermine and discredit official and media sources and science with ‘alternative facts’, slurs, lies, gaslighting, funding cuts. Tenure and freedom of speech of academics will come under increasing threat.
- Intimidate media with threats, arrests, exclusions, new regulations, censorship, etc.
- Undermine/attack opponents as un-American, etc; expect new version of McCathyism and associated witchhunts and persecutions.
- Expect very strong prosecution of whistleblowers.
- Expect roll-back on transparency, accountability, open data, open government, open science, etc. with accompanying cuts in budgets.
- Undo lots of regulations that protects citizens rights, freedoms, health and safety, working conditions, etc., enabling companies and others to abuse/exploit people without penalty. Erode social justice in general.
- Normalize everyday discrimination, prejudice and violence (patriarchy and sexual assault, racism, white privilege, homophobia, disablism, etc).
- Adopt isolationist and selfish positions that might get short term effect but long term harm to economy and society (e.g., America First, withdrawing from trade agreements).
- Privatise state services (e.g., public administration) and commons (such as national parks, state-owned lands).
- Increase in militarized policing and increased powers to the police, security and intelligence agencies.
Lie, lie, lie … attack, attack, attack … distract, distract, distract … deny, deny, deny …