Trump Pushes Protesters Out of Sight
Updated: Jun 6
Donald Trump does not want to see anymore demonstrations.
On the ninth day of protests, and the third day of a quasi-military occupation of the nation’s capital, the president continued to push demonstrators away from the White House. On Wednesday, they were moved to a location out of the president’s line of sight, and held there by a heavily-armed force in military fatigues.
This came one day after security personnel erected a fence in front of Lafayette Park, scene of nearly daily protests for decades. Parishioners at the same St. John’s Church where Trump staged his now-infamous photo op Monday no longer have access to it, because it is behind the barrier of soldiers.
The president may be tired of witnessing people who have had it with him and his opaque paramilitary police forces, and he can pretend all he wants that they don’t exist, but that doesn’t mean they are going away any time soon. Once again, a large group of demonstrators defied curfew orders in Washington, as well as other cities across the country Wednesday night.
Even the announcement that charges were being brought against all four officers in the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd did not dissuade demonstrators demanding an end to excessive police force and systemic racism.
It is possible Trump is still shaken from being rushed into his bunker the other night, likely the first time in American history in which a U.S. president had to hide from his own irate citizens. But Trump’s actions seemed oddly in character for someone who made his fortune in real-estate development. He didn’t like the view, so he ordered his minions to clear it for him.
One of Trump’s lackeys, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, momentarily tried to stand up to the boss Wednesday morning. Perhaps trying to rinse off the stain of having referred to American cities as “battle spaces,” on a phone call with the nation’s governors Monday, Esper ordered 200 active-duty soldiers from the 82nd Airborne’s immediate response force to go home.
The unit, which was brought to D.C. to deal with possible ongoing civil unrest, was then ordered to stay in town hours later after Esper had a meeting at the White House, the Associated Press reported. Trump apparently quickly put a stop to Esper’s brief attempt to behave like a steward of the United States Constitution.
Instead, Esper will forever be remembered as the man in charge of the Pentagon when low-flying military helicopters buzzed American civilians in a “show-of-force maneuver,” usually reserved for enemy insurgents in overseas operations, and when armed soldiers stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial in a scene straight from some kind of television drama.
Those actions came in response to one of the most violent nights of the protests on Sunday, when Trump tweeted out, “fake news,” as riots raged and fires burned throughout Washington and several other cities. On that night, Trump could not have possibly avoided the stark reality taking place just outside.
But Trump isn’t into reality, except for the carefully planned and stage-managed television variety. Now, with the demonstrators off to the side, he will be able to successfully resume insulating himself back into his wacky, fantasy, world-of-delusion, in which only the news he wants to hear is delivered by a cadre of obsequious sycophants.
As for the demonstrators: Out of sight, out of mind.