In his ongoing attempts to inflame tensions, incite violence, and shift blame for his own failings onto others, Donald Trump took to his Twitter machine to once again divide the nation at a time when it most needs healing. The dystopian nightmare vision of Trump’s MAGA Night at the White House is fueling his latest outbursts of unbridled rage. And he seems oblivious to the fact that there have been more than 102,000 deaths from COVID-19 (coronavirus), 40,000,000 Americans out of work, and an economy that is floundering in depression territory.
With everything else that’s going on, Trump is desperately trying to deflect from his negligence and incompetence by exploiting the nationwide protests against the sort of systemic racism that killed George Floyd. He is purposefully politicizing it by attacking Democratic leaders and making wholly unsupported allegations against liberal activists. His Twitter feed on Sunday morning looked like a screed from a typical white supremacist website.
Trump began by offering “Congratulations to our National Guard” for “shutting down” the mythical “Antifa anarchists.” Although it’s hard to shut down something for which there is zero proof of existing in the first place. That was followed by by his taking a bitterly partisan swipe at “Democrat run Cities and States”And naturally he went after his arch nemesis, the “Lamestream Media” that he accused of “doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy.” Because the giant, multinational, billion dollar corporations that control the media just love anarchy. But perhaps the most bizarre twitticism was this:
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
There is so much wrong with that that it will require some extended analysis. First of all, there is no Antifa organization. At best it is a loose assembly of unaffiliated activists who are opposed to fascism, as are most patriotic Americans. That alone would rattle Trump whose fascistic tendencies are well documented. Secondly, Trump has no legal authority designate any domestic group as “terrorist.” The law only permits such designations for foreign entities. Thirdly, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security already designated whatever it thinks Antifa is as having engaged in terrorist acts way back in September of 2017:
“Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as ‘antifa’ had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as ‘domestic terrorist violence,’ according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.”
However, Politico also noted that the rise of so-called “extremist” left-wing protests was actually incited by Trump:
“In interviews, law enforcement authorities made clear that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric and policies — first as a candidate and then as president — helped to create a situation that has escalated so quickly and extensively that they do not have a handle on it.”
That’s true as well with regard to the current protests going on around the country. Contrary to the heated blather of Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr, it is right-wing extremists who appear to be responsible for the violence that has marred the protests in recent days. Facts on the ground have shown that…
“…the demonstrations that caused so much damage included provocateurs, likely from outside the area. State officials said around 80 percent of those arrested in the Twin Cities on Friday were from outside Minnesota. Former FBI agent and CNN commentator, Josh Campbell wrote, that Minnesota ‘authorities have been monitoring alleged criminals online, including postings by suspected white supremacists trying to incite violence.'”
That’s consistent with studies on domestic terrorism conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:
“There is empirical and anecdotal evidence that far-right hate groups pose a significant threat to public safety. Far-right extremists commit many violent attacks, and some scholars conclude that far-right extremists, especially groups motivated by religious ideology, are strong candidates to commit future acts using weapons of mass destruction”
It is also consistent with studies conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):
“From 2009 through 2018, right-wing extremists accounted for 73 percent of such killings, according to the ADL, compared with 23 percent for Islamists and 3 percent for left-wing extremists. In other words, most terrorist attacks in the United States, and most deaths from terrorist attacks, are caused by white extremists.”
So all the evidence points to right-wing extremists being responsible for domestic terrorism both generally over many years, and specifically with regard to the Floyd protests. Yet Trump and his confederates are spreading baseless lies to smear the protesters, Democrats, and liberals across the board. It’s a despicable act of disinformation and slander. But it is precisely what we would expect from Donald Trump as he swirls ever lower in the downward spiral of his failed presidency.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.