I’d gone a few weeks without being too furious at Donald Trump.
Because he’d recently shown himself to be wholly unfit for the office he currently holds, his campaign for reelection — exemplified by his failure to draw a crowd for a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma — was flailing, and the very conservative Supreme Court had upheld DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and protected abortion rights for women in Louisiana. Donald Trump and his administration were on an epic losing streak.
It is becoming clear to a strong majority of Americans that Donald Trump is an ineffectual loser, and a cankerous sore on the undercarriage of the country. This perspective is currently being reflected in recent polls, which show his support collapsing beneath the weight of his myriad number of failures. Additional polls also showed him trailing badly in head-to-head matchups with former Vice President Joe Biden.
As we approached the third week of July, 2020, I was bathing in schadenfreude as I watched the bumbling and clueless Trump, the future one term and worst ever president, fail over and over and over again. And with less than four months left remaining until the national election, possessed with the knowledge that Donald Trump could not do any better — the man is incapable of learning from his mistakes — I was infused with new hope and anticipation of his ultimate defeat. We just need to survive the next few months and then he’ll finally be gone. I was looking forward to the advent of the weekend.
Then Trump launched another attack against our country on a late Friday afternoon. Through Twitter, he announced his intention to commute the prison sentence of one of his favorite henchmen, Roger Stone.
I felt my eyes bulge through their sockets as I scrolled and read through the dozens of the hastily written breaking news articles about a true American villain. Roger Stone, a Trump lobbyist and political aid, had been convicted of seven counts of felonious crimes by a jury of his peers. Those crimes were witness tampering, obstruction of an official proceeding, and making false statements. Stone was set to begin a three-year prison term before Trump stepped in at the last minute to save his homeboy.
I tossed my cell phone onto the floor after I’d absorbed my fill of articles about Trump and Roger Stone for the night. Because even though I knew Trump to be a laughing stock, a pariah, and an abject failure of a human being, he was still the president. He was still the most powerful man on earth. He was still very dangerous. He still garnered the support of a full forty percent of registered American voters.
Early next morning, my mind reverted back to the first time I watched George Floyd, a black man, struggle for breath while pinned beneath the knee of Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. My mouth hung open as Floyd, sensing his own life being slowly drained away, begged for mercy with his last few breaths, exclaiming “I can’t breathe,” over and over again. Floyd kept fighting for air. Horrified bystanders pleaded for the attending officers to advance mercy onto George. However, Chauvin, along with the three other officers, disregarded Floyd’s entreaties. Floyd called out for his mother before ultimately succumbing to the unrelenting pressure being impressed upon him by Chauvin. Why did George Floyd die? Apparently, he tried to pass a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill at a convenient store.
Later on that morning, I thought about humans being housed in deplorable places for the simple crime of seeking an escape from violence and death. Thousands of these humans — most of them Latino — are squeezed into cages like sardines in a can. They are not given toothbrushes nor allowed to bathe, sleep on unforgiving floors at night, and are fed rancid food and toilet water. Some were separated from their children — many were babies — at the southern border.
During lunch time I was chewing my food with more force than usual, as images of Donald Trump’s forceful defense of white nationalist groups filtered themselves into my brain.
A week after Trump bragged about his scandalous Stone commutation, I’ve come across shocking reports which detail instances of federal police driving throughout the city of Portland in unmarked cars to kidnap peaceful protestors. The governor of Oregon and the Mayor of Portland did not sanction these scurrilous kidnappings, but Trump and Attorney General William Barr don’t seem to care. First it was Washington D.C., where at the behest of Trump and his attorney general, peaceful protestors and news reporters were attacked by armored police in favor of a photo opportunity for Trump. And now Trump is given his secret police a trial run in the great northwestern section of America.
What do these protestors have in common? They were/are marching in opposition of the systematic racism that plagues the United States of America.
Just recently, I woke up very early to watch cable news. A clip of Trump’s outdoor press conference was playing. I wiped the crust from my eyes, reached for my glasses, and settled in to absorb the next outrage. Trump stepped behind the lectern to speak before a group of journalists. I didn’t feel the urge to hurl or throw things at the screen. It’s taken a long time, but I am able to watch Donald Trump now.
In addition to answering questions from the press during the conference, he spouted nonsense, accusing Vice President Biden of plotting to “destroy” the suburbs if he were elected. “Your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise,” Trump said. This was of course a blatant appeal to the sensibilities of white suburbanites, many of whom are deserting Trump for Biden because Trump has proven to be an incompetent loser, albeit a dangerous one. He was exhorting white suburban voters to hate their black and brown neighbors. I snorted like a raging bull.
I know what Trump means when he says law and order.
Trump wants to be remembered as the man who turned back the clock. He wants confererate flags to fly across the country. He wants African Americans, Latinos, and Muslims to live in fear of reprisal from a corrupt government led by him. He wants all women to completely abdicate their right to self-determination. Everyone who is not a white cisgender Christian man would be limited in their life pursuits because they were born a certain color or gender. He wants the brutal expulsion of every black and brown migrant and refugee from his country. He wants those who oppose him and his agenda to feel his wrath through the arm of his police force. That’s Trump’s idea of law. That’s his idea of order.
I’m sure that most Trump supporters would agree with me.