By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist
Riots, anarchy, demonstrators and military-grade militias killing each other, cities on fire. This is what Trump wants you believe is “Biden’s America.”
How many voters are that stupid?
Because he’s describing his America. We’ve seen Joe Biden’s, when he was with President Obama. You might not have liked their policies, but you didn’t see protests with armed citizens shooting at people; nor would they have been praised. Whoever fired the first shots in the recent horrors, it’s only from Trump and rightwing media that we’ve heard laudatory words for confrontational caravans and the Kenosha killer. All of it — Americans facing Americans with eyes full of hate, fingers full of triggers — is on Trump and his media deplorables. His campaign began it, and they’ve promoted it ever since.
Who wouldn’t want to kill demonstrators if they were terrorists who hate America, planning to destroy everything you value, who rape your children before eating them? Other than the sex/cannibal thing, the believers of which Trump has refused to disavow, because “they like me,” that’s what he’s peddling. Encouraging mindless fear and hate works, but only for Trump. With his malicious, self-serving encouragement, carloads of the deluded are pouring into “Democrat” cities, ready to defend against … graffiti, mostly.
This isn’t Biden’s America, nor is it Kamala Harris’ or AOC’s or Rachel Maddow’s. It’s Trump’s and Pence’s. McConnell’s, Hannity’s, Ingraham’s, Limbaugh’s. And Putin’s, who poisons opponents, to Trump’s silence. If we can’t say who all the instigators of violence among the peaceful protestors are, investigators found rightwing agitators, aiming to discredit Black Lives Matter and validate Trumpists’ rage, behind much of it. If lawful demonstrators could control the infiltrators, they would. It’s not what they want. Trump loves it, though. Kellyanne confirmed it. (Twitter: tinyurl.com/works4don)
It’s helpful to remember these encounters are in a few blocks of a few cities. There’s been some destruction, but neither those cities nor America are in flames. That’s not what Trump tells us, though, and it’s not what his angry and armed disciples like to believe. Unfortunately for us all, including them, the country they’re defending isn’t America. It’s Trump’s amoral autocracy.
In Trump’s America, like his rallies, his party’s convention was a festival of fear, loathing and blatant lies. In his America, there’s no more briefing Congress on Russian election interference. His DOJ, we’ve just learned, quashed investigations into his financial ties to Russia. Crowdfunding sites are raising hundreds of thousands for a propagandized teenager who, illegally armed, went looking for trouble and found it, in the lives of two citizens. This is the greatness Trump has made.
Every arm of government designed to protect us has become an instrument of “presidential” power, not the people’s. Even as we approach 200,000 dead from a mismanaged pandemic, people defend a “leader” still pushing fake cures and hasty vaccines, while refusing to call for the minor personal sacrifices that would end it. Forced to become science-free, the CDC and FDA are mouthing falsehoods, and Trump just hired an unqualified, fringe doctor as his pandemic adviser. Trump’s America is ignorance.
In Trump’s America, stoking of racial animus is coming from inside the White House. And the Kremlin. Lacking attractive policies, Republicans are silent, because they think it garners votes. Two per person, if Trump has his way. Falling for the lies, Trumpists willingly pave the ever-shortening road to authoritarianism, while Putin does this: (Google: tinyurl.com/rubadub4u)
Think it can’t get worse? How about an amoral, Constitution-ignoring, would-be despot gone fully unglued? If you saw someone raving as Trump did to Laura Ingraham, you’d back away. People in “dark shadows.” Planes filled with “thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.” Never psychologically sound, Trump has descended into babbling lunacy, even as he questions Biden’s mental health and pushes faked videos to prove it.
It’s straitjacket-time, except his V.P. just said he “can’t remember” if he was told to prepare to take over when Trump was hospitalized. Right. That’d slip anyone’s mind. Pence is just another corrupt liar with whom Trump has surrounded himself. Barr, Pompeo, Wolf. Ratcliffe, Navarro. The ones not yet indicted.
Ignoring the obvious, many will vote for him anyway. No sane person can, though, without lying to themselves about an unfit promoter of division, now further unloosed from reality. In Trump’s America, it’s lose-lose: if he wins, the Constitution becomes repudiated parchment; if he loses, believing his “rigged” lies, Trumpists will take to the streets, murderously deceived, ready to bring it all down.
Email Sid Schwab at email@example.com.