Democrats Are Failing To Prepare For Trump’s Administration

Sen. Marlon Kimpson

Rep. Wendell Gilliard

By Barney Blakeney

Since President-elect Donald Trump’s upset win Nov. 8, selections he’s made as he transitions into his administration alarms many.

We asked some local legislators whether that alarm is evolving into strategies to counteract what many say will be a white supremacist administration.

In a previous interview National Action Network Vice President for Religious Affairs and External Relations Rev. Nelson Rivers last week said Trump’s presidential campaign was all about white supremacy.

Who Trump hires for his cabinet tells us who he is, Rivers said.

Charleston Sen. Marlon Kimpson said there doesn’t appear to be many formal efforts to organize against an administration that undoubtedly will adversely impact minorities, but he advises minority communities to “lawyer up!”

Minority communities must be prepared to use the courts to block attempts to roll back the progress of the civil rights struggle, he said.

Organizations like Washington, D.C.-based Public Justice already are raising money to equip entities in southern states to train lawyers who can monitor, engage, confront and debate legislation that victimizes citizens.

On the national level, minority communities will have to rely on members of the U.S. Senate to utilize tools available that allow a senator to hold up controversial nominations and appointments when appropriate.

Closer to home, Kimpson said it will be incumbent upon state legislators to monitor federal legislation that impacts their constituents.

South Carolina legislators used nullification bills to avoid initiatives handed down from the Obama administration.

That same tactic can be a tool for the state’s legislators who must protect their constituents, he said.

But more importantly, the state’s legislators must begin to implement an economic agenda that benefits working class people, Kimpson said.

South Carolina ranks 45th nationally in economic security for families, he said.

“Sometimes you have to go through some things before you turn the boat around. We’re going to be going through some things,” he predicted.

Charleston Rep. Wendell Gilliard had similar thoughts. “We’re not preparing for the Trump administration,” he said. “Trump winning the election was totally unexpected. We were not prepared for that and we’re not getting prepared for his administration,” he said.

Democrats in South Carolina were anticipating a Clinton victory and prepared to ride the political wave in the wake of her advance on to higher positions within the party and her administration. Clinton’s defeat has left Democrats politically scattered. The meetings and dialogue that must take place to recover are not happening either in Washington or locally, he said.

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