The window for catastrophic Trump madness is just three months away
Two years ago, with the US presidential election just weeks away, I wrote that “Trump is whipping up rage among his hard-core fans, screaming that the election is rigged and will be stolen by Clinton and ‘the establishment’.” Actually, I wrote, “most vote-stealing is done by Republicans keeping poor people – who tend to vote Democratic – from voting.”
“Will there be fighting in the streets?” I asked. “Trump has exhorted his followers to go to the polling stations and give Hillary supporters hell…Candidate Trump is outrageously disparaging about women, and anyone else who isn’t like him. No one knows how many men are not admitting to pollsters or their wives that, behind the polling booth curtain, they’re going to vote for the big creepy guy.”
As it turned out, not much street fighting happened on election-day, and afterwards Trump-fans had no reason to fight because their guy won the electoral college.
Now, two years on, liberal media giants the New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, CNN, MSNBC et al, are displaying levels of fear and loathing in their editorials about President Trump such as I’ve not seen over the 50 years I’ve been reading them. The former head of the CIA accuses him of treason, Republican Senator John McCain calls him a disgrace, and former FBI Director James Comey says he’s “morally unfit” to be President.
And still Trump’s polls remain at about 47% approval 52% disapproval, but being disapproved of by a growing number of powerful people is a real threat to his survival as President. The biggest funder of Republican candidates, Charles Koch, recently criticised Trump’s tariff and immigration policies as “divisive”, to which Trump replied that the Kochs “love” some of his policies, including tax cuts and conservative picks for federal courts, while their trade policies are driven by a desire to “protect their companies outside the U.S. from being taxed.”
The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has already triggered indictments of 12 Russians and ongoing court cases against several top Trump aides. Trump, as always, says it’s all a liberal conspiracy, but his previously faithful attorney Michael Cohen has revealed he has over 100 tapes of the Buffoon-in-Chief saying things he says he never said.
As that legal noose tightens, Trump has ramped up his attacks on the media to hysteria level, exhorting his followers to the brink of physical attack on CNN reporter Jim Acosta. “The press,” he shouts, “is fake, fake, disgusting news” and the journalists in attendance are “horrible, horrendous people.” [https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/aug/03/trump-whips-up-crowd-anger-as-he-vilifies-media]
That question I raised — Will there be fighting in the streets? — might get very relevant in three months time if the November elections yield a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, exposing Trump to impeachment. He would do just about anything to stave that off, including inciting his rallies to widespread violence, declaring martial law, and/or launching missile attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities and military targets.
In late 2016, journalist Andrew Buncombe interviewed Trump biographer Tony Schwartz for the UK Independent, and wrote: “Asked how Mr. Trump would go about undertaking [instituting martial law], [Schwartz] said many of Mr. Trump’s supporters were police, members of the border guards force and the ‘far right wing’ of the military.” That’s probably expanded to include many not so far-right military and cops, plus legions of gun-toting rent-a-cops.
American TV and print commentator Thom Hartmann wonders if the current Congress might grant Trump powers never before given to a President, for example, to suspend the 2020 presidential elections, if enough people were in the streets protesting and enough right-wing open-carry armed thugs turned out to confront them?
There is a time-window for Trump to incite that kristallnacht scenario, between election day November 6 and January 6, when the new Congress convenes and could at least try to stop it from happening.
He’s mad enough to go there.