Demonstrations Grow in D.C.
The American people are openly defying Donald Trump’s threat of military force.
Demonstrators on Tuesday’s eighth day of protests responded to the Trump administration’s promise to “dominate the streets,” by turning out in greater numbers and ignoring curfews.
In Washington, D.C., where 24 hours earlier peaceful protesters were cleared out of Lafayette Park, and foreign journalists were assaulted, to make way for Trump’s photo op in front of the historic St. John’s Church, thousands of demonstrators returned to exercise their constitutional right to assemble and refused to leave at the curfew-mandated time of 7 p.m.
Throughout the nation’s capital, where protests entered their fifth day, scenes of a military occupation did not deter a diverse group of protesters, who continued to demonstrate for police reform in the wake of the murder of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by white officer Derek Chauvin.
Residents recorded military vehicles driving down city streets, while dozens of soldiers in fatigues stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, and another heavily-outfitted opaque group of troops simply claimed to be representing the “Department of Justice.” Other troops standing watch in Washington said they were with “the federal government,” according to national security reporter Dan Friedman.
On Capitol Hill, when Republican senators were asked what they thought of Trump’s unconstitutional show of force against peaceful civilians and working journalists, some said they supported the move, others said they didn’t see it, some outright refused to answer the question, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remarkably claimed that he wasn’t in a position to judge the performance of others.
In New York City, where there was an 8 p.m. curfew, and in Los Angeles and elsewhere, protesters sent a message to Trump that they weren’t going anywhere either, also refusing to go home on time.
The American people informed Trump on Tuesday that they know their constitutional rights, they aren’t going to be intimidated, and they aren’t going to stand for being treated like a bunch of children who aren't allowed to be out past dark.
Trump is trying to channel Richard Nixon by calling himself the law-and-order president and appealing to what he thinks is a silent majority of people who support him. Nevermind that he was elected with 46 percent of the vote, and that his consistent minority group of supporters are hardly ever silent. The fact is this country has never been so galvanized against him and his paramilitary police. Even 90-year-old evangelical and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson, hardly a liberal, described Trump’s actions Monday as, “not cool.”
A poll conducted by the right-leaning Rasmussen Reports, which regularly has shown Trump with the highest approval ratings of all the polling companies, on Tuesday reported that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of his job performance. Going back to April 1, Trump’s disapproval rating has been at 50 percent or higher in 42 of the company’s past 45 polls.
There is no silent majority backing this president. He has never had majority support. Judging by those numbers, and what we are witnessing in cities and towns across the country, it appears to be a fairly vocal majority that is saying, ‘we’re against you, and we’re not afraid of you.’