For all that Donald Trump has been outspoken about wanting to kill people who have been protesting the murder of black people by the police, and for all of his blustering about designating “ANTIFA” a terrorist group, when push comes to shove, he goes off and hides. This weekend, when protesters arrived on the doorstep of the White House, the agitator-in-chief not only scooted off to a little-used bunker, but he turned the lights off, much like a family on Halloween who has no candy and hates children.
On Friday night, as protesters gathered outside of the White House, Trump was taken to the Presidential Emergency Operations center, an underground bunker that was seemingly last used on 9/11. “After his evening in the bunker,” as the New York Times wrote, Trump “emerged on Saturday morning to boast that he never felt unsafe and vow to sic ‘vicious dogs’ and ‘ominous weapons’ on intruders.”
And while he spent the rest of the weekend tweeting about “LAW AND ORDER” and “STRENGTH” and the need to “get tough” and use “overwhelming force,” he did so while hiding in some room of the White House. Outside the White House, protesters continued to gather, and police officers, as has been the case in major cities around the country, decided to “get tough,” spraying protesters with tear gas and pepper bullets.
At one point on Sunday night, Trump turned the lights off, possibly out of a belief that protesters would assume the White House had disappeared.
Unsurprisingly, Trump continues to have little to say to the American people except threats of violence—threats that he reserves solely for property destruction, which he blames on “antifa” and not, shockingly, the white nationalists who are suspected of infiltrating the protests as a way to foment chaos. And he has nothing to say about police officers, who in many cases respond to peaceful protesters and journalists with extreme and unwarranted force, except praise. Trump clearly believes that doubling down on a law and order narrative, one that exclusively paints what he loves to describe as the “radical left” as the enemy, is a winning one for him, one that can distract us from his disastrous handling of the covid-19 pandemic. While some of his aides are calling for Trump to address the nation in a speech, what’s the point? We already know exactly what he believes.