“He’s not really acting as the President of the United States. He’s acting as the president of white people in red states.”
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
I’ll leave the legal analysis to others, because I don’t think Trump cares about whether this will withstand court challenges and pass Constitutional muster (hint: it won’t).
Trump only cares about one thing: power. To keep it, he believes that he must pit his supporters against all others in a zero-sum death match. Trump believes that to rouse his mostly white backers he should demonize and dehumanize people of color, characterizing his scapegoats as the “non-white other who are coming to take what’s rightfully yours.” This move is a two-fer: he wants to erase undocumented immigrants at the same time he wants to get reelected and help his GOP enablers advance their countermajoritarian project. He’s not really acting as the President of the United States. He’s acting as the president of white people in red states.
In his estimation, any amount of time the press and the American people are distracted from the COVID-19 crisis, the economy’s freefall and the moment of racial reckoning is a win. Anything to deflect from the brutal facts: COVID-19 infections and deaths grow unchecked; hospitals are full to capacity; testing is inadequate; and cities across the South and West are looking for refrigerator trucks to store their dead.
Just as he is sending in unmarked federal officers to attack American cities to defend Confederate statues and federal buildings, Trump is throwing another controversial policy against the wall and hoping it keeps people from paying attention to another brutal fact: that this is another sign of weakness from an utter failure of a President.