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Democratic Leadership Idly Stands by as Trump Implements Military Takeover

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. Date: 1 June 2019, 10:27 Source: Nancy Pelosi Author: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America

Despite the threats from the President and members of Congress, the number of nationwide protests increased with over 350 cities holding demonstrations.

After another day of police brutality and increasing pressure from Trump and his Republican counterparts, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer issued a short and vapid statement.

Primarily, Pelosi and Schumer took issue with the police actions of teargassing peaceful protestors to allow Trump to score a photo-op in front of St. John’s Church. The statement said, “tear-gassing peaceful protestors without provocation just so that the President could pose for photos outside a church dishonors every value that faith teaches us.

But they ignored most of Trump’s statement on the same day which included a threat to send in the military in states where governors and police failed to take control of the protests.

“I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayor and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence is quelled. If a city or state refuses… then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said in an address to the nation.

The Democratic leadership failed to call out, and currently, the House of Representatives is only meeting virtually with no plans to hold a hearing on Trump’s clear power grab.

A Call to Arms?

Another portion of Trump’s speech also caused great alarm: “I am mobilizing all federal resources, both civilian and military.”

The combination of Trump’s appearance outside of a boarded-up church with a speech that made overt references to God and mobilizing civilian resources, speculation has grown that Trump is calling for his supporters to join the attacks against protestors. Trump also made a direct call last week for violence by tweeting, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Professor and author Jared Yates Sexton warned that Trump’s speech was “a message to the Cult of the Shining City and the white supremacist Christianity that has taken over the American Right.” Sexton was raised in the faith and argued Trump’s Bible stunt will result in increased violence.

Pelosi and Schumer objected to the Bible photo-op by saying it “dishonors every value that faith teaches us.” Pelosi and Schumer make no mention of Trump’s call to deploy the military or make much worry about his stoking of tensions. They only called on Trump and law enforcement to “respect the dignity and rights of all Americans” without making specific demands.

Using the Military against Americans

Donald Trump was not the only Republican to announce they would deploy the military if need be to stop protests.

Arkansas Congressman Tom Cotton said, “If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division.” Cotton later added “the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry—whatever it takes to restore order” to his list of threats.

Protestors in Arkansas faced police violence during their demonstrations including police firing flashbangs at close range while protestors kneeled in front of the State Capitol.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz also tweeted out, “now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?”

Trump tried to designate Antifa, an anti-fascist political activist movement, as a terrorist organization.

Despite the threats from the President and members of Congress, the number of nationwide protests increased, with Al Jazeera documenting protests in over 350 American cities in all 50 states. Currently, the clashes between protestors and police look to only be increasing, and without clear opposition to Trump’s takeover, the Democratic leadership is shying away from its responsibility to fight back against widespread state-sanctioned violence.

Alec Pronk

Alec is a freelance writer with an interest in both geopolitics and American domestic issues. He finished his Master's degree with a critical focus on government counterterrorism policies.

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