Driving home from grocery shopping this afternoon, I listened to CNN reporting on a protest near the White House against George Floyd's murder by a police officer that was happening at the same time Trump was getting ready to give a law-and-order speech in the Rose Garden.
When I got home, I turned on the TV to learn what CNN was saying now -- after federal authorities cleared out the peaceful protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang explosives half an hour before a Washington D.C. curfew was to go into effect.
Here's a photo of what CNN was reporting.
Yes, Trump walked over to St. John's church after his short speech for a photo opportunity, the church having been mildly damaged by fire during a protest on Sunday night. So getting today's protesters out of the way was necessary for that.
Of course, Trump didn't have to walk to the church right then. He could have done it another time. The whole thing was staged, as was decidedly irreligious Trump holding up a Bible that was handed to him as a prop.
My suspicion is that there was another motive for ordering Lafayette Square to be cleared of the protesters before the curfew. CNN reporters who had been in the crowd all afternoon said that the protest had been completely peaceful until the federal authorities used tear gas, horses, and other totally inappropriate means to move the people out.
Listening to Trump's speech on my car radio, it struck me that all the commotion from the tear gas, flash bang explosives, and screams of the crowd provided the audio backdrop that our Wanna-be Dictator in Chief wanted for his law-and-order speech.
Most people listening would have thought there was a riot going on next to the White House. Actually it was federal authorities who had created the disturbance, almost certainly on orders from the White House to do it at a certain time just before Trump started talking.
Either motivation for clearing out the peaceful protestors was disgusting.
I've rarely, if ever, heard CNN's Anderson Cooper speak so harshly about a presidential action as he did today. He correctly said that Trump made no effort to bring the country together or show any genuine empathy.
Instead, Trump talked about using the Insurrection Act to put the military into cities where protests are occurring.
Almost certainly this would be illegal if a governor and/or mayor refused that assistance, but Trump has never let a law stop him from doing whatever his dictatorial mind urges him to do.
We've gotten so used to all the crap that Trump inflicts upon our country that it is difficult to be shocked by him anymore. However, watching analysis of what Trump did today scared me more than anything else he's done. Firing Inspector's General is one thing, as horrible as it is.
Using his power as Commander in Chief to order the military to interfere in domestic protests is a whole other thing, especially when this goes against what virtually every major and governor where major protests are occurring want to have happen.
Bill Maher regularly engages in what I used to consider to be illogical rants about how, if Trump loses the November election, he will refuse to leave the White House. Guests on his show usually try to talk Maher out of this doomsday scenario by saying that the military and police wouldn't go along if Trump tries to stay in office by claiming election fraud, or whatever.
In the past I've agreed with them.
But what Trump did today pushes me closer to Maher's attitude. There may be right-wing military leaders in our country who would help Trump try to remain president after losing the election. That's what happens in "banana republics" where elections are scoffed at by those who control the country's armed forces.
I'm still doubtful this will happen. The odds just seem greater now.
Lastly, I'll share a final photo of a CNN caption that points to the blatant hypocrisy in Trump's speech.