The unprecedented street protests against Donald Trump within his first ten days of office puts into question the legitimacy of his presidency. First, it was the Women’s March across the country. These were followed last weekend by the airport marches decrying the Muslim ban and the wall. The intensity of the protests and their emergence less than ten days into Trump’s administration puts into serious question the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s Administration.
Donald Trump has taken to social media and the news outlets to attempt to create the narrative that he is a popular president. Trump has argued that he lost the popular vote because of illegal votes cast by immigrants. Although the veracity of this claim has been disputed by reputable sources, the fact remains that the possibility exists. As such, it cannot be readily dismissed.
However, crowds of protestors converging in public places cannot be so easily dismissed.
Each new presidential term has its detractors. Traditionally, the detractors dwindle as the new administration takes shape. That is not the case for the Donald Trump Administration. Protestors, instead of dwindling in numbers are growing in intensity.
Instead of protesting the results of the elections, the most recent protestors are reacting to executive orders signed by Trump and rallying around them to force them to be retracted. The recent crop of protestors are reacting to public policy instead of continuing to debate the results of the elections.
The United States last experienced these levels of national protests during the Richard Nixon era. The underlining factor driving those protests was the Vietnam War and Nixon’s unpopularity and corruption in office. Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace and the United States is still wrestling with the ghosts of Vietnam.
This fact puts into question the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s presidency.
As the intensity and frequency of the protestors increases, the result is that the ability of Donald Trump to govern is diminished as the intensity rises. Governance requires a measure of tranquility. Growing protesters erodes the tranquility and distracts from the need to focus on important governmental matters. They also result in higher costs for the communities where they happen because of the need to maintain law and order.
The more the protestors rise to challenge the Trump public policy – his legitimacy as president is further eroded.
If the intensity of protestors gets to a certain point, the country becomes ungovernable. As a result, Trump’s legitimacy as president would be nonexistent.
That is something to keep in mind for the next few weeks. If protestors continue to rise, Trump’s dynasty may end like Richard Nixon’s.