The Rules Be Damned: Trump, at home and abroad, has served as a proponent of lawlessness and disorder.

AuthorKuhlenbeck, Mike

From the beginning, the administration of Donald Trump has shown nothing but contempt for citizens engaging in their right to peaceful protest, political opponents voicing their grievances, and journalists doing their jobs. The flagrant promotion of the crudest forms of racism, xenophobia, and jingoism by Trump and his associates is even more sinister considering the funds and militarized police apparatuses at their disposal. Such are the hallmarks of a regime doing all it can to usher in a police state.

The line between the roles of the U.S. military, which is often called "the worlds police force," and domestic law enforcement has been blurring more with each passing year. Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, policing has become a matter of "homeland security," opening the door for draconian measures initially implemented by Congress and the administration of George W. Bush. This led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, along with such agencies under its umbrella as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2003.

There has been, for decades, a bipartisan consensus in favor of strengthening law enforcement and the prison-industrial complex. American politicians are fond of deploying rhetoric that evokes the imagery of warfare in the fight of "good versus evil" to inflate the budgets of the U.S. military and law enforcement, advancing politically motivated crusades with phrases like "The War on Terror" and "The War on Drugs." Trump has taken up this mantle, declaring war on those who oppose his policies and methods.

Trump inherited many of the tools needed to facilitate the violations of citizens' rights from previous administrations and Congresses, tools he is now using as instruments of repression under the guise of "law and order."

The murder of George Floyd, forty-six, at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25 saw a popular resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, with widespread protests against racism and police brutality. On August 23, Jacob Blake, twenty-nine, was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in front of his children in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and left paralyzed.

"With law enforcement, what we have witnessed the past several months since George Floyd's death is what has been happening in Black and brown communities all across the country for decades," says Justin Mazzola, Amnesty International USA deputy director of research, in an interview with The Progressive. "It's just been brought to light by their response to protests against police violence."

In response, Trump continues ramping up the rhetoric against so-called subversives and anarchists such as Black Lives Matter and antifa supporters, whom he sees as a national security threat. "If the Democrat Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters, and flag burners, that is up to them," he declared in his nomination acceptance speech in August. "But I, as your President, will not be part of it."

In fact, Trump has pursued his own brand of subversion, in actions that reveal he is more than willing to deploy the tactics of a dictator. On June 1, in Washington, D.C., demonstrators assembled at Lafayette Square and were attacked and cleared out by agents from the D.C National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Prisons Special Operations Response Team, the Secret Service, and the U.S. Park Police. This coordinated assault on protesters...

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