Donald Trump Has Discovered He Can Dial Up a Mob Whenever He Wants

Protesters block streets in Lansing, Michigan, to display their hostility toward the governor's stay-at-home order.TNS via ZUMA

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For the first time ever, I’m a little scared of what Trump might do later this year:

The picture is from Joshua Bickel of the Columbus Dispatch, and it shows a swarm of protesters outside the Ohio statehouse. Roughly speaking, what happened is that Trump ordered up a mob, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh passed the order along, and local GOP groups happily ginned one up. Needless to say, this isn’t limited to Ohio:

Across the nation, protests against the stay-at-home orders that health experts say are needed to save lives are taking place, with more set for the coming days….In Raleigh, more than 100 demonstrators gathered to protest Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order…. Kentucky, Utah and Wyoming also saw similar protests. More events are scheduled for Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Oregon, Idaho and Washington state.

The largest took place in Michigan on Thursday, where police said 3,000 to 4,000 people showed up at the state Capitol in Lansing to protest Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extended and expanded stay-at-home order, which was signed into law last week. The protests have had a tea party flavor to them, with demonstrators carrying “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and wearing “Make America Great Again” gear. Some have even waved Confederate flags.

As always, the danger here is not so much Trump himself. It’s been obvious for a long time that he’s a sociopath who doesn’t care about—or maybe even understand—the consequences of his actions on other people. The danger is that the Republican Party, so far, is cheerfully going along with him. Even in the middle of a global pandemic that’s already killed more than 100,000 people, they are acting as Trump’s loyal spear carriers no matter how reckless or deadly he’s become.

Even after three years of Trump, I guess I didn’t believe that Republicans would truly go so far. But even the prospect of bodies stacked endlessly in mass graves hasn’t brought them to their senses. I guess at this point nothing will.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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