Monday, July 20, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said he'd send more anonymous federal agents into cities, but only where his political enemies were in charge.

For the last few days, Trump has sent federal employees into Portland, Oregon. In theory, they are there to "investigate" crimes committed on federal property, which—by the Trump administration's own admission—mostly amounts to graffiti.

In practice, this has meant anonymous men in unmarked uniforms selecting peaceful protestors at random, dragging them into unmarked rental vans, and detaining them without charging them with a crime. They've also been caught on camera beating protestors, including a Navy veteran, without provocation.

The brutal and flatly illegal tactics used in Portland are likely due in part to the fact that the federal employees involved are taken from a hodgepodge of federal agencies, and not part of a regular police force. In some cases, they may not be trained in law enforcement at all. 

Trump today praised the "fantastic job" that the unnamed employees of unnamed agencies were doing keeping order. In reality, tensions that had died down have now dramatically risen again in response to the provocation.

He also said today that he intends to deploy more of these anonymous enforcers in riot gear and military-style camouflage to other cities—and explicitly linked those deployments to states and cities governed by Democrats.

TRUMP:  The Democrats — the liberal Democrats running the place had no idea what they were doing.  They were ripping down — for 51 days, ripping down that city, destroying the city, looting it.  The level of corruption and what was going on there is incredible.  And then the governor comes out: “We don’t need any help.” 
How about Chicago?  I read the numbers were many people killed over the weekend.  We’re looking at Chicago too.  We’re looking at New York.  Look at what’s going on.  All run by Democrats, all run by very liberal Democrats.  All run, really, by radical left. 
...Well, I’m going to do something — that, I can tell you.  Because we’re not going to let New York and Chicago and Philadelphia and Detroit and Baltimore and all of these — Oakland is a mess.  We’re not going to let this happen in our country.  All run by liberal Democrats.

It's not clear whether Trump understands that the recent protests all across the country have been against police violence and the militarization of American law enforcement.

Why is this a bad thing?

  • Secret police are un-American.
  • Physically attacking American citizens to score political points is wrong.