Donald Trump’s campaign efforts in Portland aren’t aimed at the voters in Oregon.
Instead, Trump’s electoral strategy — a scheme of sending armed federal troops to tear gas peaceful protesters while right-wing agitators stoke violence and provide the president with a convenient excuse to scream “LAW & ORDER” — is designed to appeal to voters in those swing states where he is now polling below his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
It is a cynical and desperate attempt to fear-monger and scare suburban women into voting for the big strong, protector against chaos and disorder that Trump paints himself as despite being the ultimate source of both of those disruptive forces in this country through his faulty to non-existent leadership.
Trump made his ploy public earlier this morning with a pair of tweets that tried to foist a familiar fictional narrative upon the American people: that he and he alone can be their savior and that without his decisive action ignoring constitutional protections for the freedoms of speech and peaceable assembly the entire city of Portland would be no more.
…do not stop the Crime and Violence from the Anarchists and Agitators immediately, the Federal Government will go in and do the job that local law enforcement was supposed to do!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
Trump’s threats notwithstanding, the announcement by Oregon Governor Kate Brown later in the day that she had reached an agreement on the phased withdrawal of those unwanted federal stormtroopers from the city was welcome news.
After my discussions with VP Pence and others, the federal government has agreed to withdraw federal officers from Portland. They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence. Starting tomorrow, all Customs and Border Protection & ICE officers will leave downtown Portland.
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 29, 2020
Whatever conversations Governor Brown had with the vice president, Trump threw the whole arrangement into question with a tweet this afternoon that makes one wonder if the deal was ever explained to the president and whether he was ever going to give up his most potent voter recruitment campaign for his white supremacist base in exchange for what amounts to an admission of misjudgment and defeat.
.@FoxNews reported incorrectly what the Federal Government is doing with respect to Portland. We are demanding that the Governor & Mayor do their job or we will do it for them. To complicated to discuss in a Tweet, but bad reporting by Fox (possibly on purpose!). @DHSgov
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020
Trump apparently forgets that he has no right to tell the duly elected local government officials that he will do their jobs if they don’t meet his standards for the violent suppression of protestors.
It didn’t take long for Twitter to respond to Trump’s latest paranoid, grammatically-challenged, not “to complicated [sic]” tweet.
It’s like a vicious cycle for Trump. He screws up and then he gaslights us into believing it never happened. Then he blames it on someone else.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) July 29, 2020
He didn’t know that because he was too busy tweeting to read his PDB.
— West Point Ramp 🏳️🌈 🏴 🌊 (@RampStairs2020) July 29, 2020
He can’t even do his own job….
— Ron Predmesky (@rPred) July 29, 2020
The DHS seems to thing their job is to create the appearance of a Trump victory. Their job is to protect Americans. And they put them in danger by being in Portland. They protect them by getting out. How it looks shouldn't enter in.
— Mary is Real (@MaryRealGood) July 29, 2020
History is repeating itself folks – pay attention 🦅🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/ErtqrAoIWt
— Jon Osman (@TheActor_movie) July 29, 2020
I wonder if retweeting Dr. Hydroxy Queen was false reporting??? pic.twitter.com/uSfTz66qTj
— Scapper 💙 (@therealscapper) July 29, 2020
I can tell you that as someone who was actually there, they tear gassed non-violent protesters like myself and the others in the @WallOfMoms and we were not even on federal property. @ACLU_OR will back us up. #PDXprotest pic.twitter.com/r928Gl7ZFy
— Michelle Horgen (@MichelleHorgen) July 29, 2020
Thanks for playing, Donnie.
— egregious_philbin (@egregious_phil) July 29, 2020
Because there is a army of idiots that don’t watch him speak live , they only get their info spoon fed by Fox pundits .
— Tracy Bonthala (@TBonthala) July 29, 2020
There are plenty more where these came from, but you get the idea by now.
The only reason for Trump’s show of federal force is his belief that it will help him raise his nose-diving poll numbers by distracting the public from the truly unforgivable disaster that has been his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expect the federal forces to move to cities in Swing states next.
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Vinnie Longobardo is 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.