Donald Trump, do not come to Kenosha on Tuesday. You have done enough damage.
We suppose we might have hoped that in this crisis, just this once, you would seek to bring Americans together instead of driving them further apart.
We suppose we might have hoped, just this once, that you would not ask first and last: “What’s in it for Donald Trump?” That you would put your country first, not your re-election.
But we knew better. The whole country knows better. Joe Biden certainly knows better.
You’ll be in Kenosha on Tuesday because you are simply incapable of doing what’s noble and right.
“The incumbent president is incapable of telling us the truth. Incapable of facing facts. Incapable of healing,” Biden said on Monday, delivering a speech in which he forcefully condemned all violence, as he has done consistently.
“He doesn’t want to shed light. He wants to generate heat,” Biden continued. “He’s stoking violence in our cities. That is the tragic fact of the matter about this perilous hour in our nation.”
And so Trump is coming to Kenosha, which has had four days of calm following the unrest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake. There’s just no stopping him.
Fears and chaos
Trump will whip up fear and chaos — count on it — while shouting “law and order,” solely with an eye toward the November election. No matter that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has urged Trump to stay away because of the security burden on law enforcement of a presidential visit.
Trump will be in Wisconsin because it’s a crucial swing state and he cannot resist a chance to stir up his base. All else he will say is hokum.
Trump cares nothing, make no mistake, about honoring fatigued first responders.
Or about comforting the citizens of Kenosha, who’ve seen their city ripped apart.
Or about consoling the families of the two young protesters who were killed in Kenosha, allegedly by a teenage “militia member” who once sat front and center at a Trump rally.
“He may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is,” Biden said.
And we sure don’t expect to hear Trump offer any heartfelt words of support for the Blake family, with whom, as of Monday afternoon, he had no plans to meet.
Trump’s visit to Kenosha is nothing but another MAGA rally. Delivered on a stage built of violence.
Hammer home lies
To that end, Trump and his GOP enablers will keep hammering home the lie that leftist barbarians are at the gates — antifa, Black Lives Matter, “Democrat” mayors — and that Trump alone can stand against them.
They will continue to feed the divisions roiling America because, as now-former presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway said last week: “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”
Conway said this in support of Trump. Which puzzles us. Why would Americans choose to re-elect a president who has encouraged, even thrived on, hate and violence?
Most recently, Trump tweeted his praise for armed Trump supporters, one of whom died, who fought with leftist demonstrators in Portland this past weekend. He called them “GREAT PATRIOTS!”
“Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence?” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Sunday. “It’s you who have created the hate and the division.”
Hate and division — Trump’s calling card for decades. You don’t have to look hard to find other examples.
On the campaign trail in Iowa in February 2016, Trump told a crowd, “So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ‘em, would you? I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”
Later that month, in Las Vegas, Trump said about a heckler, “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.”
In August 2017, Trump praised as “very fine people” those white supremacists who took to the streets of Charlottesville and chanted “Jews will not replace us.” One of them killed a young woman when he plowed his car into a peaceful crowd of counter-demonstrators.
In October 2018, Trump praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter. “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy,” he said.
And following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past May, Trump called the protesters “THUGS” in a tweet and and warned: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
How sad a visit
A true leader calms turbulent waters. He puts out fires. He pulls people together.
Trumps stirs the storm. He sets fires. He pits us against each other.
Trump is coming to Kenosha.
How sad it is to dread a visit from an American president.
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