Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Painting with a broad brush, President Donald J. Trump has declared war on an unarmed, underserved, economically depressed population angry because they are being murdered by police in broad daylight.
Opinion by Solomon Smith, Political News Editor
Trump has finally had the presidential moment he has wanted — a declaration of war. The enemy: governors who seek peaceful resolutions and Americans who protest.
Relishing his time at the podium, Trump announced his workaround for deploying troops on American soil against his own citizens, threatening the general population with indiscriminate violence.
“I am your president of law and order and a president of all peaceful protesters,” said Trump as the police and military, under color of his command, fired tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters he had yet to speak to face to face. “But in recent days our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others.”
With barely controlled excitement, Trump announced that he is “mobilizing all available federal resources.” He gave an ultimatum to mayors and governors. They were warned to establish an “overwhelming force” in the residential neighborhoods of their communities — or else he would.
Antifa and other activist groups, like Black Lives Matter, have been on the president’s hit list for a long time. This rant puts him one step closer to clamping down on speech he does not like by declaring his opponents terrorists. Black lives Matter has been pivotal in establishing peaceful protests, providing both leadership and organization to an often headless mob, but chaos and misery is the road to martial law and Trump is intent on following it.
“One law” for everyone the president says, but not the constitutional one. With Trump, it is the law of the gun, a new version of the Constitution where the president threatens the entire country with martial law. He has effectively established his base of power as a dictator while Congress hid waiting for the dust to settle. No strong rebukes from our leaders who safeguard the democracy of the country unfortunately, and as predicted by social scientists across the country, the erosion of democracy comes to fruition through the cowardice of Congress and the rapacity of a ruling party.
Proudly walking off the stage after having gotten just a little more power for himself, the president — astride in purple like the Caesars of old — walked streets swept of their detritus on his way to turn a national church into a bath house.
No words of wisdom or calm, no pleas to the better angels of his fellow citizens, only threats of violence and escalated force. The president has single-handedly guaranteed more violence, more public harm and hurt to a population that has asked for some sign of understanding or compassion.
There was none to be had.
Instead of offering a hand, Trump offered a sword gilded with the rule of law, soon to be oiled by the blood of Americans.
The president has framed protesters as insurgents in an insurrection against their owner. Ironically, the president was close in his estimation.
During the nation's early years, there was Shay’s Rebellion. Composed of men who served their country faithfully but frustrated with a weak ineffectual federal government made up of selfish states intent on maintaining their own individual power. They rioted, and from that violence and anger was born the Constitution.
The president punctuated his speech with a triumphant walk through Lafayette Park to Saint John’s Church, where he pantomimed faith by awkwardly holding up what he called “a bible” like a triumphant dictator with a raised rifle. He stood with no clergy, no unemployed citizens, no afflicted persons of color. He stood alone. A short distance away, peaceful protesters were being forced back by troops and gas grenades.
“I am outraged,” said Rev. Mariann Budde. “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop,”
Using armored officers and the church as a prop to punctuate his statement, Trump managed to soil both without touching them. Former Vice President Joe Biden leads from the front with a cool head, clear message and open heart. Biden faces the anger, prays with his people and grieves with them. He is what this country needs to move forward.
The president is a coward running out of places to hide. The bunker in the White House is too cramped for his ego and the Resolute Desk is too big for ineptitudes. Budde summed it up best.
“I don’t want President Trump speaking for St. John’s.”
We do not want him speaking for us either.