Trump emerged from his bunker yesterday and held an angry, ranting call with US governors in which he implored them to arrest protesters and sentence them to ten years (does Trump actually think governors have the power to make that happen?). Trump then had ten different law enforcement and military groups coordinate to violently attack a large gathering of peaceful protesters outside the White House to clear them from an area he needed to cross to get to the nearby St. John’s Church for a photo op while he brandished a Bible. The Bishop of the parish complained afterwards that nobody warned the church that Trump was coming, and Trump failed while he was there to pray. Maybe because Trump has never prayed nor been a real Christian?
More importantly, Trump threatened to send military troops to states whose governors could not “defend the life or property” of residents, calling protesters “terrorists”. Presidents are not allowed to send troops to any state without the consent of the governor unless the president invokes the Insurrection Act of 1807, allowing him to send Federal troops when the state cannot otherwise enforce its laws. This would be, yet again, straight out of the Dictator Handbook. Trump expanding his power and pretending to care about “law and order” as he uses force to look tough. Meanwhile, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the “protesters” inciting violence and destroying property are not generally part of the Black Lives Matter movement and don’t give a damn about George Floyd. Many of them are white supremacists masquerading as leftists or “antifa”–as CNN reported last night–in order to stoke fear and open the door for Trump to increase power. Now would be a good time to call our Senators and urge them to denounce any Trump power grab.
Trump has crossed many red lines in his presidency. But it seemed like Trump’s irresponsible actions and dangerous statements yesterday catalyzed something new. People I’ve known for years on social media who never post or say anything political were suddenly venting their anger at Trump last night, and there were long threads on Facebook unlike any I have seen. The vast majority were horrified that Trump had driven our nation into such a deep ditch and recognized the gravity of a moment where the president, rather than working for unity, was dividing America and threatening to use troops against our own citizens. And what other conclusion could a rational person come to? Forty-one million Americans unemployed, our national debt skyrocketing, a Covid death toll surpassing 105,000 citizens, our nation’s cities burning with rage at the racism and police brutality that Trump continues to fuel as he openly fantasizes about grabbing more power. The outrage on Twitter was relentless and continued throughout the day and night, coming from ordinary citizens to public figures to former President Obama and Joe Biden.
Conservative George Will had an amazing column in the Washington Post yesterday calling for Trump’s removal that I encourage everyone to read. He has especially harsh words for the Republicans in Congress who coddle Trump:
We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for . . . what?
He then concludes about Trump:
Those who think our unhinged president’s recent mania about a murder two decades ago that never happened represents his moral nadir have missed the lesson of his life: There is no such thing as rock bottom. So, assume that the worst is yet to come.
Please read the entire editorial here, it’s not long:
The next 150 days will be tough and grueling and dangerous. But we have to answer the call to defend our democracy from fascism as represented by Trump and his cult.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”