President Trump and his cronies are modeling behavior that would would once have been unthinkable in the United States … wholesale blame, name calling, constant lying, racism, making tasteless and sleazy remarks, and engaging in unilateral, harmful actions during this pandemic such as pulling the U.S. out of W.H.O and shutting down the C.D.C.
But the recent attempts by the president to criminalize protesters may be the most destructive yet. This is an attack on the very foundation upon which a robust, diverse democracy is built, where folks can protest if they perceive a wrong.
Apparently now, if you are a Democrat and wish to be part of a protest or attend a public Republican political event, you will be treated like a criminal, regardless of whether you are there peacefully or not.
President Trump sent federal police into Portland, against the wishes of the elected officials in Oregon, to quell what he characterized as out of control protests. Instead, the unrest increased as the Feds used violence and intimidation indiscriminately against protesters, most of whom were protesting nonviolently.
Oregon’s governor, mayor, and attorney general have demanded that the feds leave, but President Trump has refused these requests.
Closer to home, the recent gathering of Republican candidates in Oak Harbor where the videographer was physically assaulted bears all the signs of Trump’s modeling … name calling and labeling, violating his physical space, seriously injuring him, and forcing him to leave a public meeting.
All of this was done without the active intervention of any of the Republican candidates or organizers of the event.
This is not my America, the America that was once admired and respected in the world, a country where one could speak one’s mind without fear of violent repercussions. This is a sad time for our country.