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A Weak and Scared Trump is Dangerous for America

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Leading voices condemn Trump’s effort to encourage violence in desperate attempt to hold onto power

A weak, failing, threatened and scared President Trump is openly encouraging  violence in a desperate attempt to scare voters and hold onto power. Leading observers are capturing the dangerous moment facing our democracy:

  •  Dana Milbank in the Washington Post: “In nature, an animal is most dangerous when cornered and wounded. The same is proving true in the closing months of President Trump’s term. Trump botched the coronavirus pandemic, bungled the economic recovery and flubbed the handling of civil rights demonstrations … And so the president is trying to provoke a race war on the streets of America.” 
  • Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster, on Twitter: “One does get the sense that white supremacy has now been wounded & is bleeding…which makes it more dangerous than ever.” 
  • Greg Sargent in the Washington Post: “Trump is not the ‘law and order’ candidate. He’s the candidate of arbitrary violence, state and private alike. He is the candidate of lawlessness and civil breakdown.” 
  • Jamelle Bouie in the New York Times: “The bully pulpit matters. Presidential rhetoric matters … A president who speaks of shooting people in the street — who elevates those who threaten to shoot people in the street — cannot be separated from the individual who does, eventually, shoot people in the street.” 
  • Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic: “[F]or many voters, the president’s warnings about possible chaos if Biden wins may be less compelling than the daily evidence of the chaos that is already enveloping the nation with Trump in the Oval Office.” 
  • Masha Gesson in The New Yorker: “The Republican Party dispensed with a platform this year, and its entire agenda could be summed up on a single sheet of paper: the Party supports Trump … Trumpism is not merely the governing philosophy of another Republican Administration. It is a new system entirely … To call things what they are, the Republicans adopted a fascist aesthetic for this year’s Convention.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

A weak and scared President Trump is dangerous for America. As his grip on reality slips and his support erodes, Trump is failing and flailing. His epic failures on the pandemic, the economy and racial justice have backed the President and the Republican Party into a corner. Now, the President is encouraging violence. He sees chaos as an election strategy. He and his followers are defending armed vigilantes as heroes. 

Let us not forget. Trump’s racial incitement, especially in the run up to the 2018 midterms, led to a Trump supporter sending pipe bombs in an attempt to kill Democratic and progressive leaders, an unhinged right-winger killing 11 innocents at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and in 2019, a Trump-supporting Texan to drive to El Paso to kill 23 Mexican-Americans and Mexicans.

The next two months are going to be extremely dangerous. Trump will stop at nothing to hold onto power, and the Republican Party is all in on Trump’s corrupt power grab. Too many in the political class and in the media are treating the 2020 race as if it’s a normal contest between two competing political forces, when it’s not. Normalizing this existential moment of truth plays into the hands of those who want power at the expense of democracy.