Make no mistake: this is Trump’s America, where protesters are shot by vigilantes as police look on
Donald Trump took a trip to a place called Biden’s America on Tuesday. It is a strange land where the president of the United States is a helpless guest, a doomed corner of his own country that is somehow ruled by a former vice president.
It is a topsy-turvy place, this Biden’s America. Occasionally, the president can regain his magical ruling powers by summoning assorted minions in uniforms and incanting a spell with his thumbs to tweet the words LAW AND ORDER.
But mostly our president is lawless and disorderly, wandering through a country that has been laid low by a virus from China, a candidate from Delaware, and a bunch of friendly questions from Fox News.
He is as befuddled as anyone on Facebook about what the hell is going on around him. But rather than trying to fix this dysfunctional version of the land of the free, he prefers to scare the bejesus out of white voters so they might forget this historic pandemic and recession.
To steady his wobbly step, Trump leaned on two men who best represent what he understands by “law and order”. Sitting on one side of our impotent leader was Chad Wolf, the illegally appointed acting secretary of homeland security, who likes to send unidentified paramilitaries to assault American citizens but insists that they are not “the Gestapo, storm troopers or thugs”.
Sitting on the other side was Bill Barr, the totally impartial attorney general – who called Black Lives Matter protesters “essentially Bolsheviks” – driven by some kind of religious lust for power. Heaven knows that politics and religion are the kind of bedfellows this president would never lust for.
Together, these three outlaws descended on a small outer suburb of Milwaukee and Chicago home to fewer than 100,000 souls, where the Bolsheviks have decided to stage a pivotal uprising against everything good.
The facts can be tricky here on the mostly white shores of Lake Michigan, but one thing is clear: Trump cannot feel your pain in Biden’s America.
His audience at what this White House called “a community safety roundtable” included a pointless smattering of local suffering – mere pimples on the face of a horrified nation.
There were the owners of an office furniture store. “You got hit pretty hard. That’s all right,” said our discomforter-in-chief. “It’s going to get rebuilt.”
There was the owner of a candle store. “That’s a very fancy name you have there,” said the man trying to scare white America to its core. “But I’ll bet it was beautiful. Is it – are you going to rebuild? Will you be rebuilding?”
“We were not destroyed, very fortunately,” said the candle lady.
“Well, we’ll be giving you some help,” Trump said anyway.
You never know, the Bolsheviks might come tomorrow.
Then there was the camera store guy, who has been in business for 109 years, according to Trump.
“You’re insured, right,” he asked. Yes, said the camera guy. “And so they’re helping, and they’re being responsible?” Why yes, said the store owner.
So much suffering caused by the strange revolutionary forces of Biden’s America, gathering on the shores of a great lake for no great reason.
“To stop the political violence, we must also confront the radical ideology that includes this violence,” said our explainer-in-chief. “Reckless, far-left politicians continue to push the destructive message that our nation and our law enforcement are oppressive or racist. They’ll throw out any word that comes to them.”
It’s almost as if these politicians throw out words like bullets fired into the back of a father climbing into his car where his three children were waiting for him.
You see, in Trump’s version of Biden’s America, violence springs like Athena from the head of Joe Biden, or AOC, or Lenin. It has no relationship to Jacob Blake, who was not named by Trump or his sidekicks at their community safety roundtable. It has nothing to do George Floyd, or Breonna Taylor, or Ahmaud Arbery.
It doesn’t even have anything to do with Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with killing two protesters and injuring another in Kenosha, as part of a self-styled white militia that arrived from out of state. Somehow the town’s non-racist law enforcement turned a blind eye to Rittenhouse, walking the streets with his AR-15-style assault rifle, and his friends even after the shootings.
Some types of radical ideology are good, and some are bad. The original Bolsheviks understood that distinction pretty well.
There are many strange things that happen in Biden’s America. As Trump told Laura Ingraham of Fox News on Monday, there were people wearing black clothes on “a plane from a certain city this weekend” who were headed to the Republican convention that just ended. “A lot of people were on the plane to do big damage,” said the man tasked with protecting the constitution, as well as a nation of confused citizens.
As if that isn’t bad enough, there are police who shoot unarmed civilians because they can’t take the pressure. It’s a bit like playing golf, Trump told the audibly horrified – but otherwise entirely supportive – Fox News interviewer.
“You know, a choker, they choke,” Trump explained, somehow managing to dehumanize both the shooting victim and the police officer who pulled the trigger. “Shooting the guy in the back many times. Couldn’t you have done something different? … But they choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot.”
It’s weird enough that a Republican party that campaigned for so long on the war on terrorism finds it so hard to see homegrown terrorists in places like Kenosha. It’s weirder still that the party now blindly follows a man who likens shooting someone in the back to missing a putt.
But the weirdest thing in Biden’s America is that Donald Trump can only echo Joe Biden. One of them said this week, “I know most cops are good and decent people. I know the risk they take every day with their lives.” The other said: “The vast and overwhelming majority of police officers are honorable, courageous, and devoted public servants.” Which candidate hates law enforcement again?
The last Republican president to promise to keep us safe was George W Bush, running for re-election after 9/11. But every few days in Trump’s America, we lose more Americans to the rampant pandemic than to the terrorist attacks that traumatized this nation 19 years ago.
That’s not just weird. It’s the symptom of a political sickness inflicted by three and a half years of a lawless and lying president. This is Trump’s America, and we just vote in it.