Trump Fans the Flames

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

When historians look back on this week they’ll hopefully say that we saw the final convulsions of Trump’s presidency, mostly due to the president’s unequaled ability to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, as Abba Eban once described Palestinian strategies.  With a black man brutally murdered by the police and millions of Americans having lost their livelihoods almost any politician would have understood that only two interventions had a chance to ward off major social unrest: an immediate expansion of the safety net and drastic measures to reign in police violence.  But Donald Trump didn’t see it that way. He tweeted ‘when the looting starts the shooting starts,’ announced a MAGA night at the White House for which nobody showed up, so that he  and Melania had to hide in the basement, threatened peaceful demonstrators with ‘vicious dogs’ and ‘ominous weapons,’ said that ‘MAGA loves black people,’ in spite of the confederate flags, attacked the DC major and lied that her police didn’t protect him, which had to be denied by his own Secret Service, and called the family of the murdered man without even letting them talk.

In November Trump wants to run on a Law and Order platform, and for that he needs unrest in the streets, but not so much and not so early.  That strategy might have worked  if the president could project firm control over events that threaten the American people, but instead he only attempts to project power over the American people, as was evidenced by his statement that he was going to activate Attorney General Barr ‘very strongly’ and that he was also going to activate the US military.  For the latter move he needs to invoke the 1807 ‘Insurrection Act’ and get cooperation from the governors, who first have to ask for military pressure before Trump’s legions can march in, and whom he therefore literally begged to start ‘dominating’ the citizens of their states.  On this Trump is already backtracking because it doesn’t look like he’ll get a request for military assistance from even the most reactionary governor, and the cooperation from the military is even more wanting.  Former Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Mullen and former Defense Secretary Mattis have criticized Trump, as has current Defense Secretary Esper.

The only military leader Trump has been able to drag into his poisonous web is the current Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff General Milley, who as a good lapdog put on his battle fatigues and marched with the president and Barr to St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House, where Trump, after peaceful demonstrators had been violently removed with teargas, could have a photo-op holding a bible upside down and pretending to be Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments.  Even some Evangelicals may have questioned his sincerity.

Just before the commotion started the president found time to conduct basic foreign policy, from the beginning of his presidency his very strength, and after he had announced the elimination of the special status of Hong Kong as a trade partner he invited G7 leaders for a meeting at Camp David, offering them an opportunity to renew their friendship with Vladimir Putin.  It was too much of an honor for Angela Merckel, who said ‘nein, danke’ and won’t show up.

By now most people have already forgotten that Trump finally revealed the reason for his opposition to voting by mail.  It’s not the adult voters who commit fraud, but their children, who have a habit of stealing the ballots from mail boxes.  Voting Committee Members all over the country can hardly forgive themselves for having overlooked such an obvious illicit scheme.

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