"In fact, that will be possible only if we accept that he is legitimately the 45th President of the United States, and the time for protesting Trump's holding this office has passed. If you drown out any discussion of the specifics of his presidency with the familiar refrains that he's abnormal, racist, sexist, etc., you'll remove yourself from the realm of productive debates about the president."
Writes my son, John Althouse Cohen, urging us to get past the shock of Trump's election and start taking him seriously. Trump wasn't taken sufficiently seriously as he ran for President, but he achieved everything he said he would. We should assume he's going to do the specific things he's got in his first-100-days plan and focus on what we'd like and not like to see happen. As John puts it, none of Trump's proposals "involve turning America into a fascist dictatorship, forcibly removing citizens from the country, systematically violating due process, instituting apartheid, or squelching free speech." And some of the proposals are or might be good ideas that even Trump opponents might want to nudge him to focus on.
I remember a couple days before the election, when Newt Gingrich said: "[I]f Trump is elected, it will just be like Madison, Wisconsin with Scott Walker.... a Madison, Wisconsin kind of struggle if Trump wins." But the Wisconsin protests did not happen at the point of Scott Walker's election in 2010. They began in February 2011, after Scott Walker had taken office and the GOP legislature had presented a bill — Act 10 — with specific proposals people objected to. The anger and outrage was directed at legislation, not at the outcome of the election.
So the not-my-President protests against Trump are not like what happened in Wisconsin. Protesting an election — and election that is not contested or unclear — doesn't make much sense unless you're opposed to preserving our constitutional system of government. Perhaps some protesters fall into that category. Some may be a bit confused and think the electoral college ought to be changed, but that's not to say there's something illegitimate about the result of the election. Trump won clearly under the rules of the game everyone was playing. The protesters seem mostly to be afraid of what Trump will do, so they ought to address their protests to the specific proposals.
That's not only how the Wisconsin protests worked, that's how the Tea Party originated. It was not at the point of the election or the inauguration, but the following month, in February, when something particular was proposed. It happened to be — did you remember? — Obama's mortgage relief plan.
The Tea Party has had a lasting effect on American politics, and I don't think we'd have seen the same thing at all if it had begun as a freakout on seeing Barack Obama elected.