Trump and the threat of civil war

BY ED FELIEN

On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump told the crowd of his supporters: “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.
“We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.”
A May 2022 poll by Yahoo! News and YouGov found that 61% of people who voted for Trump in the 2020 election believe that “a group of people in this country are trying to replace native-born Americans with immigrants and people of color who share their political views.”
On Jan. 10, 2018, while president, Trump asked a group of senators, while they were discussing immigration from Africa, why America would want people from “all these shithole countries,” and said that we should have more people from places like Norway.
When he announced his run for president in 2016, Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Racism and sexism (repeal of a woman’s right to control her body) were the most effective  motivators in 2016 for white male voters who had not finished college (44% of all voters). They went for Trump 64% to 28% for Clinton. In 2020 Trump won 53% of the male vote to Biden’s 45% and 58% of the white vote to Biden’s 41%.
Trump has fanatical support from hard-core supporters—willing foot soldiers in the battle to save white American males. He can get 20,000 to 40,000 fans to come see him perform, and on Jan. 6 he got between 2,000 and 2,500 people to storm the Capitol in a deliberate attempt to stop the legitimate transfer of presidential power from Trump to Biden.
If he loses in November, he might try to hold another rally (within marching distance from the Capitol) and then urge his followers to seize the Capitol.
How many could he get?
How much training would they have?
Would there be a published battle plan?
The Capitol police have more than 2,300 officers and civilian employees. The Washington D.C. police force has 3,851 officers. That’s a standing army of more than 6,000—trained and armed.
One would hope they have a plan to deal with this kind of emergency.
Trump’s model for self-promotion is Adolf Hitler. There are important differences. After Hitler’s failed Munich putsch in 1923 he went to prison and wrote “Mein Kampf.” After Trump’s failed putsch on Jan. 6 everyone else went to prison and Trump raised $250 million from fans to “stop the steal.”
Hitler’s race war against the Jews was ultimately successful because Hermann Goring had organized a national police force (the Gestapo) to enforce the new race laws, and the local police administrations were all ethnically Aryan.
In 2006 the FBI issued a paper outlining how white nationalists were infiltrating police departments. In Minneapolis, Bob Kroll
was head of the police union. He’d been found guilty of racial discrimination by interfering with the promotion of Black officers. He was a leader of City Heat, a motorcycle gang of cops who flew Confederate flags.
It looked pretty bad.
It looked like Trump might have an army of trained officers to back up his claim to power.
The high point of horror came when Bob Kroll filled the width of the stage with MPD cops wearing Trump T-shirts at a Trump rally in downtown Minneapolis.

Donald Trump and Bob Kroll

But by late summer the fear had faded. The country had a very rude awakening. The world had witnessed a video of George Floyd being murdered by Derek Chauvin. That created a new militancy among young people. Racist attacks on Black people were now being taken very seriously.
Thousands marched from 38th and Chicago, where George Floyd was killed, to the Third Precinct station and demanded it be closed. They stood vigil around it for four days until Mayor Frey ordered the police out and abandoned the building to the demonstrators.
There was looting and arson in the area around the precinct station. There was a viral video of the Umbrella Man with a pocket sledgehammer busting in the plate glass windows of an auto parts store. The police identified him, but he was never charged or prosecuted. He was a leader of a motorcycle gang of ex-felons.
Was Bob Kroll talking to the Umbrella Man?
There is little doubt that many of the major arsonists were false flag protesters. The passion of the crowd demanding justice for George Floyd was easy to imitate. It was easy to convince a few of the more militant George Floyd protesters that it was time to take care of business and burn down some stuff. So, what symbols of white racist power went down? The new construction of low-income public housing on Lake Street; Gandhi Mahal Indian restaurant (a favorite of lefties); and MIGIZI (a support counseling service for Native American youth).
Overall damages due to arson and looting in the aftermath of the George Floyd riots was estimated by the city to be more than $350 million.
But the George Floyd riots were a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The simple plot of a fascist takeover of a democratic government is to sow chaos and then restore order. On Jan. 6, Trump could have sent a personal military detachment into the Capitol to clear out the rioters and dismiss Congress, saying we would have a new election in a year or so because the last one was so badly flawed. But he couldn’t pull it off because he hadn’t organized a military unit with the necessary loyalty and capability.
The white nationalist cops in Minneapolis and elsewhere might be good at sowing chaos—particularly in Black and brown inner-city neighborhoods—but they don’t have the military authority to order a toilet flushed. Military authority to use the National Guard to put down civil unrest rests solely with the governor of the state.
Trump dreams it will happen magically once he’s dictator. He says he will indemnify all police to protect them from radical left prosecutors: “We will crack down on left-wing jurisdictions.” He can’t do that. State legislatures across the country have put new limits on a cop’s use of deadly force, and the power to prosecute those laws belongs to the states.
He says his administration will be the “creation of the unified Reich.” This Nazi nostalgia feeds his dreams. The Third Reich was fairly unified because Hitler killed or imprisoned his opposition. The first thing Hitler did in 1933 was close the abortion clinics and lock up between 20,000 and 40,000 left-wing politicians and sympathizers.
Trump can’t do that. He has the Deep State to contend with. The people running the government are pretty smart. They will hold him in check. His actions will be subject to the Constitution, and the courts will support legitimate resistance.
Trump says he wants to be dictator so he can fire all the people in government he doesn’t like. He can’t do that. There are laws and rules that protect civil service employees, and the courts (even Trump-appointed judges) have not agreed with Trump’s fantasies of megalomania.
Although Berlin was probably the most cosmopolitan city in Europe in the 1930s, the German courts and police were quite ethnically homogeneous. It was easy for Hitler to argue that the financial depression and the unfair Versailles Treaty were the result of international Jewry bent on poisoning the blood of Germany. Trump’s claim that immigrants from Mexico are “poisoning the blood” of America is contradicted by a booming economy and low unemployment.
How, then, if Trump is so wrong on everything, can he be leading in so many polls and be so close to getting elected?
The answer is that he is very entertaining.
Almost every day, TV cameras capture him outside a courtroom saying what a victim he is and how “Crooked Joe” Biden is out to get him. He sleeps and farts during the trial, and then complains that Biden is doing this to keep him off the campaign trail—while he’s getting free primetime TV news coverage to play the victim to an adoring public, and late-night comics can’t resist immortalizing him with satire.
He is the bumbling and bombastic clown from the circus. He jumps out of the clown car and starts whacking other clowns with a slapstick (two boards hinged together that make a loud crack when slapped).
It’s cruel. But, somehow, it’s also very entertaining. And you don’t mind that the clown is mean and dangerous if he’s also stupid. That’s what made Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” so popular. Everybody laughed at the antics of that idiotic Adolf Hitler. Chaplin later regretted the film: “Had I known the actual horrors of the German concentration camps, I could not have made ‘The Great Dictator’; I could not have made fun of the homicidal insanity of the Nazis.”

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