Privacy Rights in a Trump Presidency: Lawrence Cappello, Ph.D. ’16

Lawrence Cappello (Ph.D. ’16, History) explores what a Trump presidency could mean for privacy rights in a new essay for The Hill, in which he argues that no candidate since Richard Nixon has been “so fiercely committed to portraying the nation as an unsafe and lawless society.”

“And so in these final weeks of the election, we may want to take pause and remember that the success of Nixon’s law-and-order rhetoric also had a devastating impact on American privacy rights,” Cappello writes. “A Trump presidency, if history is any indicator, could be even more disastrous.”
Trump has said that, if elected, he would begin large-scale surveillance operations targeting mosques, order his Attorney General to begin “watching” the Black Lives Matter movement, and would “certainly implement” a national database to keep track of American Muslims, according to Cappello.

“This is a fragile time for the right to privacy,” Cappello writes. “It would be even if Trump had not secured the Republican nomination.”

Cappello is the director of quantitative research at the GC’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies (CLACLS) and a lecturer of United States history at Queens College. His work focuses on 19th- and 20th-century American intellectual, political, and cultural history, particularly the history of privacy in the United States.
While a student at the GC, he also published essays on privacy in The Atlantic and The Nation.


Submitted on: OCT 27, 2016

Category: Alumni News | General GC News | History