Demonstrators, having made their point, now play into Trump’s campaign narrative

Demonstrators, having made their point, now play into Trump’s campaign narrative

The outrage felt by millions of Americans after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25, is both understandable and justified.

Millions have marched peacefully in demonstrations to give expression to that outrage.

But now, some eight days after the killing, continuing with the demonstrations only plays into Donald Trump’s hands.

While the facts are not yet clear, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest that external elements have been injected or injected themselves into explosive situations for the purpose of fomenting violence, looting, and vandalism.

The civil unrest and, quite frankly, the lethargic and wholly inadequate efforts of mayors and governors (many of whom are Democrats) to gain control of the situation in many cities, has afforded Trump the opportunity to portray himself not only to followers, but also to millions of others, as a strong leader who will use all necessary means, even sending in federal troops, to regain control of the situation and reestablish law and order. This is likely to be a major thrust of his 2020 presidential campaign.

This is the reality of what is occurring throughout America today.

Meanwhile, demonstrators are not observing social distancing and often even the wearing of masks, and are gathering in large groups which are highly conducive to the spread of the coronavirus. If there is a new surge in infections, Trump and Republicans will surely lay the blame at the feet of the demonstrators.

In fact, they will probably be blamed for all of the increased infections, most of which may be attributable to Trump’s rush to reopen the country in the face of strong advice to the contrary from medical experts.  Even where Democratic governors and mayors have relaxed restrictions, they have often done so in response to the political pressures stirred up by the President.

The peaceful demonstrators have made their point. They cannot reasonably expect to gain anything further by continuing their demonstrations.

What they need to do is to go home, and sign up for voter registration and get-out-the-vote projects.

Going home will also deprive the violent agitators of their cover for burning and looting in major cities. That will make it easier for the police and National Guard to deal with them, while depriving Trump of any pretext for sending in federal troops to restore order.

Trump is a genius at manipulating mass emotions, and using divisive issues and above all the issue of race to divide people and drive them to irrational and destructive behavior, however self-defeating such behavior may be.

Above all, demonstrators and everyone else need to keep their eyes on the prize, removing Donald Trump from the White House.

First, they should not play into the narrative he is trying to create.

Second, they should resist police and National Guard excesses not by taking these officials on physically, but rather by taking them on in the courts.

Third, they should work immediately to remove Trump and all of his Republican enablers in the House and the Senate from office in the November 3, 2020 elections.

Fourth, they should demand that their representatives in the House begin a broad-guaged impeachment inquiry into the wide range of Trump’s abuses of power and other crimes and illegalities over the last three and a half years.

More generally, they should exert every effort to hold Donald Trump accountable for the tens of thousands of Covid-19 deaths caused by his successive failures to respond to the coronavirus pandemic in a timely, scientific, and competent manner.

It is time to move beyond the demonstrations to the deadly serious work of removing Trump and his supporters from office.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.