We all had hoped that with the end of Obama being in office would be some measure of liberty restored to the citizens of the United States. That the people would not have to fear “Big Brother” looking over their shoulder like the eight years prior. Even with Trump himself calling himself the “law and order” candidate, people still believed it. Sadly this is becoming yet another illusion many people had about the Trump presidency.
His appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General speaks volumes for his so-called commitment to states rights as Sessions has already pointed out If America did not want him to enforce marijuana laws then they should change them. This does not bode well for the growing 6.7 billion dollar industry that has arisen from the rise of legal marijuana nor for the rights of the states which have legalized it. Also, his statement of backing away from monitoring troubled policies departments sounds alarming. Apparently, he feels that holding police accountable will interfere with their effectiveness. It is clear he plans on giving police a very long leash which will undoubtedly mean more civil right abuses on the average citizen over the years to come.
Another point of concern is Trump’s stance on the practice of civil asset forfeiture.  This is the practice of police seizing the property of a citizen based on the suspicion that it may be used in criminal activity and the burden of proof is on the citizen to provide evidence it was not. This is a long and expensive process for most people to go through and current laws allow police that use this practice to keep between 80% to 100% of what they take. Trump not only supports this practice but has jokingly stated he would destroy the career of a Texas state senator who proposed a bill that would not allow assets to be seized until a person was convicted. What makes this practice more appalling is that of 2.5 billion seized by police between 2008 to 2014 81% of the cases failed to even produce an indictment. There have been many calls in both State and Federal government to end this unfair and unjust practice. However, it seems clear that this will not happen under the new presidency.
Also of note is the recent decision by the TSA to implement more “intimate” pat-downs at airports across the country. Since the TSA is under the president’s control it is safe to assume that President Trump approves of this rather invasive procedure being performed by an agency that has been well known for not being able to keep us safe. These pat downs will be so invasive that the TSA has apparently warned the police about potential 911 calls regarding their screening process.
In recent days there has been the issue of government spying. While much has been made about allegations regarding possible spying on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump it is worth noting that now President Trump is in favor of allowing the spying program to continue without modification. While it is yet to be seen if his stance changes due to spying personally affecting him, it was clear it did not have any problems allowing the continuation of spying on American citizens. Add to this Trump’s avid support of the PATRIOT act on the campaign trail and you can pretty clearly tell he really has no issues with continued government surveillance on its citizens, just as long as he himself is not watched.

It is rather clear that the police state is here to stay in the Trump presidency, more police protection, less citizen protection and a greater range of way for your rights and privacy to be invaded. This is what is happening now and this is what will grow over the next four years. While I am sure many of you had hoped this would not be the case I do hope your eyes are a little more open now.

Written by: Michael D. Jacobsen

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