Trump’s war against law and order

Having earned the loathing of a big majority of voters, Trump’s last ditch hope for re-election is to pose as the defender of law and order, cracking down on disorder. Problem: there really isn’t much disorder. Solution: create some, then make like you’re cracking down on it. (Though unfortunately the heads cracked are all too real.)

There was no disorder in Washington’s Lafayette Park in June; people were peacefully exercising their constitutional right to gather and demonstrate. Until Trump turned it into a scene of mayhem by unleashing a violent militarized assault on protesters and journalists, replete with tear gas and helicopter buzzing.

Now Portland. Comparisons to Hitler and Nazis should normally be avoided. But what can we say when a regime deploys goon squads, without uniforms or insignia, to violently seize people off the streets, into unmarked vans, without charges, hustling them away to detention and interrogation?

One man relates this was done to him while walking blocks away from a protest. Another was shot in the head. A navy veteran who told these gestapo guys they were acting unconstitutionally was hit with batons and pepper spray. “Law and order?”

The local authorities (including the governor, mayor, and police chief) all say matters were under control and calming down — until, rejecting their pleas to stay out, Trump’s storm troopers invaded and started provoking violence with their outrageous actions. That really caused protests to flare up.

“Protecting federal property?” — A federal facility in Portland did get trashed — after — and because — their bullies brutalized the locals. It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Now Trump threatens to deploy federal forces in Chicago and other cities. The administration claims some law somehow vaguely authorizes this abuse of power. Congress should legislate to clarify that it does not.

Kidnapping people is illegal. It’s those federal “officers” who are committing crimes, who should be arrested, charged, and sent to prison. (No, their officialhood does not immunize their lawbreaking. Not in America.)

Law enforcement is a local responsibility. That’s a fundamental element of our civic compact. We’ve never imagined in this country that armed federal men can just barge into a city, unbidden, indeed against the express wishes of local officials, and arrest people.

Where are all the Confederate flag wavers with their bleats about “state rights?” And the guys who keep guns saying it’s to guard against “government tyranny?” All those anti-maskers shrieking “freedom?” Does the federal assault on Portland look like freedom to you?

Trump is cynically trying frighten people into thinking we’re beset with violence, so they’ll vote for him as the savior of law and order. While the biggest promoter of violence, the biggest offender against law and order, in today’s America, is Donald J. Trump.

6 Responses to “Trump’s war against law and order”

  1. Axel Kornfuehrer Says:

    Frank, you forgot to mention a parallel to the masked soldiers without insignia and unmarked cars being used by Trump’s administration in Portland, OR. That parallel is the Putin takeover of the Crimea in 2014. Since we know Trump admires Putin, is Trump maybe trying to follow Putin’s example?

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