The United States is burning in rage and battling a pandemic. Amidst all these, the White House turned off its lights on Saturday night, and Trump hid inside a bunker.
A leaked call from US President Donald Trump's situation room was uncovered by CNN where Trump advised all the governors to "dominate" the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Responding to Trump's comments, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said, "Let me just say this to the President of the United States, on behalf of the police chiefs of this country: please, if you don't have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut."
A police chief standing up to the President of a first-world nation is quite a spectacular scene. And Trump rightfully deserves to be schooled after the rampage he has stirred up since he took office in 2016.
When talking about the Floyd killing protesters, Trump borrowed the words from a disgraced segregationist who remarked in 1968, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."
Trump has warned protestors of military action. Speaking from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, he said the violent protests in Washington DC over the death of George Floyd were a "disgrace" and warned that a curfew will be "strictly enforced," even as protestors were pushed out of the park by authorities ahead of his address.
Trump also called the protesters "thugs", which shouldn't come as a surprise because Trump is known to make such comments when he is talking about people who are not white.
President Donald Trump on Sunday said the United States would designate Antifa a terrorist organization.
Speaking at the Kennedy Space Centre on Saturday, Trump said the recent "violence and vandalism" seen across the country "is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings," reports Mercury News.
Neither does the federal government have any legal authority to label a wholly domestic group the way it designates foreign terrorist organizations, nor did Trump provide any evidence for his assertion.
In an article published in The Atlantic, David A. Graham writes, "The challenge of a democratic polity is that leaders must run on behalf of one party, then govern on behalf of everyone. In a one-party state, there's no such divided polity, and that's what Trump seems to prefer. His lack of interest in unifying Americans has been on display over the past few days."
President Trump had the exact opposite reaction when his supporters started 'anti stay at home' protests demanding to reopen the country in April. The police did not shoot at them. Nobody shot at them even when they carried semi-automatic weapons to intimidate state legislators and governors either. On April 17, Trump tweeted, "Liberate Minnesota!".
Every public official in the state of Minnesota has condemned the violence in connection with the protests after the Floyd killing along with the locals and demonstrators. But the violence that police are bringing upon the protesters have resulted in at least five deaths; numerous injuries and the unrest has caused millions of dollars worth of damage to property.
When The New York Times asked Trump what he was going to do to address unrest, he replied, "I'm going to win the election easily … The economy is going to start to get good and then great, better than ever before."
This statement was rather a confession that Trump has been looking at the whole situation all along through the electoral lens. He went to MAGA rallies even in March. And his electoral campaign is still going strong online.
Trump even suggested that voters send their votes through the mail (!) in the upcoming election. Yesterday he tweeted "November 3rd", which is the election date. Trump clearly prioritises the election over pandemic and violent protests.
Twitter staged a corporate protest against the president's violent rhetoric by posting a warning label over his "loot/shoot" tweet.
David Frum in an article published in The Atlantic writes, "Over the past two days, Twitter has submitted itself to presidential attack. The president has proved his willingness and ability to retaliate against dissident corporations. Amazon lost a multibillion-dollar Pentagon contract, very likely because the administration sought to punish Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, for his ownership of The Washington Post. The president has attacked on his platform GM, the U.S. Postal Service, and other companies at times of vulnerability. Recently, he took a swing at The Atlantic too. In the midst of an economic crisis that has crushed advertising revenues, Twitter is vulnerable."
Now, the pandemic has exposed the nasty face of a failing healthcare system in the US and Trump's inability to control anything related to it. More than 1.8 million cases and over 100 thousand deaths and counting, yet Trump seems reluctant to care about public health.
Even though he had been alerted of the virus before it turned into a pandemic, he decided to ignore it and went along to his golfing vacations. When reality hit him finally, he just blamed everything on China. He also cut the World Health Organization's funds and accused them of being China's associates.
When Trump was asked about the blatant unfairness that could be observed among the rich and poor getting treatment or even access to healthcare in this pandemic, he expressed disapproval but added, "Perhaps that's been the story of life."
George Packer in an article in The Atlantic said, "Most Americans hardly register this kind of special privilege in normal times. But in the first weeks of the pandemic it sparked outrage, as if, during a general mobilization, the rich had been allowed to buy their way out of military service and hoard gas masks. As the contagion has spread, its victims have been likely to be poor, black, and brown people. The gross inequality of our health-care system is evident in the sight of refrigerated trucks lined up outside public hospitals."
In the article, George Packer also painted a picture of Trump's misconduct since he got into the Oval Office, "Trump acquired a federal government crippled by years of right-wing ideological assault, politicization by both parties, and steady defunding. He set about finishing off the job and destroying the professional civil service. He drove out some of the most talented and experienced career officials, left essential positions unfilled, and installed loyalists as commissars over the cowed survivors, with one purpose: to serve his own interests. His major legislative accomplishment, one of the largest tax cuts in history, sent hundreds of billions of dollars to corporations and the rich. The beneficiaries flocked to patronize his resorts and line his re-election pockets. If lying was his means for using power, corruption was his end."
There was a ray of hope from the disasters of Trump back in 2019 when the US House of Representatives impeached him. But sadly, the Republican majority Senate decided to keep him in the office.
Donald Trump became the President with his promise of building a wall along the Mexican border. He has been feeding into his white supremacist supporters' ego who only chant "Go back to your country" to anyone who is not white and doesn't speak English. All his racist remarks are celebrated by his supporters but condemned by everyone else.
The country had already been through enough distress in the recent past. The 9/11 attacks in 2001 and the 2008 recession shook the country to its score. Donald Trump and his failed promise of making America great again is just as hollow as he is as a leader.