As even top Pentagon officials, Republicans who haven’t yet sold their souls in exchange for electoral success, and anyone with half a brain and a copy of the U.S. Consitution condemn the president’s federal secret police for illegally prowling the streets of Portland, Oregon in unmarked vehicles and forcibly kidnapping and detaining American citizens with no probable cause, Donald Trump announced today in a White House speech that he will extend his criminality to other cities across the nation as well.
Spouting misleading statistics that try to justify his fascist actions in the cloak of a violent crime crackdown, Trump is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public who already know that any increase in the less than 20 thousand annual deaths due to homicide is dwarfed by the 140 thousand deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus that Trump has downplayed and failed to even present a coherent strategy to combat despite having had over 6 months to do so.
Take a listen to Trump’s apocalyptic rhetoric — centered around attacking “defunding the police” proposals that reallocate budgets from police forces to fund social workers and civilian employees who likely won’t respond as violently and inappropriately in traffic stops and mental health crises — as he tries to salvage his re-election efforts by resorting to his usual fear tactics.
Excerpts from his speech are courtesy of Vox correspondent Aaron Rupar’s handy Twitter excerpts.
"Today, I am announcing a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime." — Trump pic.twitter.com/5O2hfM1HUb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 22, 2020
TRUMP: "The FBI, ATF, DEA, US Marshals service, and Homeland Security will together be sending hundreds of skilled law enforcement officers to Chicago to help drive down violent crime." pic.twitter.com/0xijEEi5aG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 22, 2020
While Trump’s move to expand his stormtroopers to cities beyond Portland was fully expected, it remains to be seen whether he will be challenged by Congress and the courts for his clear violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
It is also questionable as to whether even his libertarian-leaning, feeedom-loving base is willing to trade the proffered security measures that Trump is promising for the erosion of civil liberties and states rights inherent in having federal troops patrolling their cities’ streets.
If you want a sense as to the enthusiasm of a Trump supporter for this latest illegal expansion of federal powers, just ask them how they would feel about heavily-armed and insignia-less federal troops being sent to their communities in unmarked vehicles to enforce a mandatory mask ordinance.
If you survive such an encounter, you’re likely to find that a lot fewer of them will express support for Trump’s scheme, particularly when they realize that this precedent would allow his likely Democratic successor the same powers if this unconstitutional attempt to exert power is not stopped immediately.
If only Trump would put this much time and effort into fighting the real crisis our nation faces — the COVID-19 virus — instead of stoking racial paranoia and having his SS fight, injure, and arrest American citizens exercising their 1st Amendment rights.
Anybody who ever wondered how they would act if they were around when Hitler rose to power, just check to see what you’re doing right now and there’s your answer.
Come on, folks! This is the last straw!
It was bad enough that Trump is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths through his coronavirus pandemic inaction.
Now he’s actively and illegally trying to harm American citizens through the levers of military power.
This must stop now! Ge to the streets! Hong Kong can do it. So can we!
Original reporting by Aaron Rupar at Vox.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.