Trump is Inciting Violence to Boost His Faltering Campaign
Over the last two weeks, the Trump campaign has evolved from merely irresponsible and offensive to something quite loathsome. Apparently, he and his advisors have decided that fear will motivate Americans to reelect him, even if that takes provoking a bit more turmoil in America's cities.
In order for this strategy to work, however, Trump needs protests to continue in cities like Kenosha and Portland to drown out the rising death toll that has resulted from his botched Covid-19 response. And, simple street demonstrations won't do; he needs the protests to turn violent so they will garner some national media attention. Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, explained the campaign's warped thinking last week while speaking to Fox News.
New York Times: "Kellyanne Conway, President Trump’s departing counselor, said on Thursday that Mr. Trump stood to benefit politically from the kind of unrest that erupted this week in Kenosha, Wis., after the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake."
“The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,” Ms. Conway said on “Fox & Friends."
So, while Joe Biden is working to reduce tensions in cities like Portland and Kenosha, don't expect the President to do the same; quite the contrary. Trump has already shown that he will work to incite even greater violence. Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin summed it up quite nicely yesterday.
Washington Post: ..."He [Trump] had peaceful protesters gassed and deployed camouflaged troops to Portland, Ore., to grab protesters off the street without probable cause. He has used pictures of mayhem and violence (either from scenes playing out under his own administration or from foreign events) to instill fear in White Americans. He vowed to keep suburbs (read: White suburbs) safe from integrated housing (read: Black people). He encouraged police not to be “too nice” in handling suspects. He denies systemic racism and instead paints all protesters as anarchists, socialists and violent extremists. He has refused to condemn police officers who kill unarmed Black men and women or White armed groups engaged in violence. He invited to the Republican National Convention a couple charged with a felony for brandishing weapons at Black Lives Matter marchers. ..."
And, on Saturday when a caravan of Trump supporters drove through Portland, Oregon firing paintballs and pepper spray at bystanders and Black Lives Matter marchers, one of the members of the caravan from a right-wing organization called Patriot Prayer was shot. Trump's response: GREAT PATRIOTS!, referring to his supporters who were there to instigate the confrontation.
Portland's mayor, Ted Wheeler, clearly understands the President's reelection playbook and put the blame directly on Trump.
Willamette Week: “It’s you [Trump] who have created the hate and division,” Mr. Wheeler said. “You have tried to divide us more than any other figure in modern history and now you want me to stop the violence that you helped to create.” "Asked by a reporter about Trump's comments that he wasn't surprised by a killing in Portland, Wheeler reacted with visible anger."
"I'd appreciate that either the president support us or stay the hell out of the way," Wheeler said. "Of course he's not surprised. He encouraged them to come into our city."
Joe Biden also understands what Trump is trying to accomplish by stoking tensions. On Sunday he warned of the consequences and urged us to reject the President's vision of America.
Biden, Twitter: "We must not become a country at war with ourselves, a country that accepts the killing of fellow Americans who do not agree with you, a country that vows vengeance toward one another. But this is the America that Trump wants us to be, the America he believes we are."
"The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable. Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same."
On Tuesday, Trump will travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and healing divisions isn't on of the agenda. The President would love his visit to trigger violent street demonstrations. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers knows that and yesterday asked Trump to “reconsider” his plans to visit Kenosha saying, “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together."
Evers is right, of course. Let's hope Trump listens.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content
Photo: MICHAEL VADON