Contributed by Jim Hayes
It seems that Donald Trump is becoming increasingly isolated as state governors, prominent military personnel, and even a growing proportion of Republican politicians, are either condemning or distancing themselves from his declaration of war against fellow citizen of the United Sates.
Defense Secretary Breaks With Trump Over Military Response To George Floyd Protests
Video from NBC News
Even George W Bush has spoken out
Video from CNBC Television
More reports are coming in of more police officers taking the side of those protesting against the murder of George Floyd.
US police show signs of solidarity with demonstrators
Video from The Telegraph
Video from Guardian News
National Guard deployed to back the policing effort are not always complying
National Guard members lay down their shields and join protest in Nashville
Video from News4 WSMV Nashville
National guard kneel in Sunrise (Florida).
Media is starting to tell another story, no doubt, helped by the violent police attacks on journalists.
Police Shoot Tear Gas Toward MSNBC Crew, Protesters, ‘There Was No Warning Whatsoever
Video from MSNBC
States have blocked the use of the army, which has frustrated Trump’s attempt to use this strategy more widely.
A wide range of public figures are now coming out and speaking their minds.
There is absolutely no doubt that behind this, there is the growing national revulsion against the response coming from the White House.
It is obvious that the strong arm methods are not working. The marches across the nation are begging bigger.
But Trump is pushing ahead regardless, and this brings a real danger that a further escalation of violence is on the cards. After all, the President is using forces trained to obey orders, and the President is the Commander in Chief. This means that many will obey orders, even if they would rather not be used for this purpose.
The danger for Trump is the possibility of crossing a line, where the order to attack other Americans is not obeyed and the chain of command breaks down.
Signs of of a breakdown have already begun. The wold has witnessed police officers take the side of those protesting against the killing of George Loyd. If this continue to spread, it will bring real trouble to Donald Trump and those who stand behind him.
There is also that element within this society, which has hitched a ride on the Trump band wagon and is itching for a fight. The police force has such people within its ranks. so do the National Guard and army. Then there are the civilian militia’s and openly white supremacist groups. It should not be underestimated
Their ranks have been growing and they shouldn’t be underestimated. They have swarmed into the Republican Party and enjoy Trump’s patronage and encouragement.
Yet they remain a part of disaffected American society, reacting against what they see as uncaring government, loss of livelihood, freedom, and values, and their status as Americans. They share this with many other Americans.
Unfortunately, they have been hoodwinked into believing that cause is some sort of a conspiracy at the top, people of a different colour, immigrants, and leftist conspirators, and this makes them willing foot soldiers at Donald Trump’s disposal.
The president and they show they have no qualms about using violence to get their objectives. In their eyes, they are waging a revolution against the powerful, and hold that order must be secured through force.
Others who feel much of the same disaffection are turning in the opposite direction. The most visible manifestation of this has been the rise of the Bernie Sanders movement, although this is only part of it.
The United States is politically polarising, and this is what is being played out in the streets across the nation. It is the fruit of a deepening economic and social crisis, the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Depression.
An inability by those in power to resolve this reality, the existence of willing foot soldiers, and a President with Wall Street backers among the richest and most powerful and taking to road towards authoritarianism, raises the prospect of a shift towards dictatorship.
The purpose of state violence at the present level, only makes sense as a means to legitimise its use and create an opening to bring vigilantes into the street. It sets up a declared enemy and excuse to call a national emergency, take away civil rights, circumvent legal restrictions, and hunt down the declared enemy – all for the lofty goal of defending America and making it great again.
This is where the similarity with Germany and Italy nearly a century ago comes in. Mussolini and then Hitler came up through similar social movements, kinda won elections, and then turned themselves into protectors of the nation through the iron fist. We know what that brought to their people and the rest of the world.
Of course, there are differences as well. But there is enough similarity to justify concern. The direction of Trump and his followers, if it continues along the same road, is going to bring a lot of harm to Americans and the rest of the world.
If unrest continues and there is a second Coronavirus infection wave, will the Presidential election for 3 November go ahead and Donald Trump enforce executive power? time will tell.
Enough has taken place already to ensure that the United sates and the rest of the world will not remain untouched.