• Ayana Colley

A Law-and-Order Reelection

Injured citizens, violence, and burning buildings have become a norm in the past weeks, as store windows are smashed during protests against police violence. United States President Donald Trump has further provoked the protesters already infuriated by George Floyd’s death and further divided the nation when he tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” and “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”. Furthermore, he declared himself the “president of law and order”, called violent protests “domestic acts of terror” and stated that “If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the U.S. military and quickly solve the problem for them”. It is becoming increasingly clear that Trump is inciting and provoking protesters to escalate riots so that he can spark fury among the white population of the U.S., his major voter base this November. If he successfully disperses these protests, he could achieve a large voter base.

“a reality TV show of God and country." - Andrew Cuomo

U.S. politicians such as Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, agree that Trump wants to make the protests over George Floyd’s death “a reality TV show of God and country.” The governor criticized Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church, where Trump posed for a picture with the Bible, resulting in law enforcement in the area using tear gas to forcibly remove peaceful protesters. Trump’s use of force paired with the Bible would create a satisfying image for radical conservative Americans, another large supporter group of his. Trump is not only sacrificing stability and public order but also national interests to gain voters for his reelection.

President Trump’s inability to empathize with others and lack of interest in uniting the nation is pushing us to the breaking point. We The People need to acknowledge that by rioting and using violence to protest police brutality, we are playing into Trump’s hands and are self-defeating our cause. We need to recognize the use of fear in politics. The 37th president of the United State, Richard Nixon, was arguably a terrible president, yet still won two elections in a row, as elections aren’t about if you’re a terrible president or not, but rather about how many votes you receive. Powered by supporters he named the “silent majority”, Nixon took advantage of restoring law-and-order to public unrest and upheaval. This is a very reasonable outcome of the riots.

President Trump may not know how to heal America in these unprecedented times, though he very well knows how to improve his re-election chances.