We all know what the top story is right now, don’t we? Protestors are cleared from Lafayette Square with force so Trump can walk across the street and have his photo taken at the Episcopalian Church.
Let’s review the facts.
1) White House has been under siege, for the last two nights
2) Trump is moved to the war room/bunker
3) 7:00pm curfew is put into effect
4) Trump informs Governors and Mayors to get their cities/states under control or he will invoke the Insurrection Act.
5) 6:36pm Lafayette Square is cleared of protestors
6) Trump emerges with a large security detail and entourage
7) Trump holds up Bible and photos are taken
8) Trump return to the White House.
9) Media/Episcopalian Church denounce the act
10) Right wing media hails the move.
11) Social media is losing its mind
12) The press, all sides, has handled COIVD19 and the killing of George Floyd poorly is an understatement
13) We don’t receive news, we are fed a steady diet of useless, unwarranted opinions.
Did I forget anything? If I did, add in only if it’s constructive. I’m sure I will receive some blow back with my analysis, but that’s okay.
The country is rocking and burning from sea to shining sea. Peaceful protests turn to riots and opportunists take over as the sun starts setting. Social media has been clamoring for days for Trump to show himself. Depending what news source you watch or read, he’s been in there for days or hours. Reminds me of “Dug-out Doug” and the press vilifying Bush Jr for disappearing when he boarded Air Force One after being informed of the 911 attacks.
So back to present issue. What did Donald and his advisors hope to gain from him coming out and walking across the street? The people I interviewed said to show a sign of solidarity and give America hope. The press said it was a photo-op stunt and nothing else. So who’s right? To a degree both reports have validation. He did come out and photos were taken. But what was the message?
With MacArthur, he was ordered to leave the Philippines by FDR. Jr. was following the in-place protocols of whisking the President to a safe location when the country is under attack. Both men resurfaced and were hailed as heroes. MacArthur wading through the surf several times, at Luzon and Jr walking down the streets of NYC with Guilliano. Both acts were a sign of solidarity and gave the American people hope that justice would be swift and victory would be achieved. But both of these men weren’t walking into a maelstrom. The beaches and the streets were relatively secure.
Now, was I inspired by his actions yesterday? No. It was good, to see him come out of the White House. From that point on, it was a poor showing. So, what would I have done or expected? Come out of the White House, with a megaphone, toured the damaged church, had the White House photographers take impromptu photos and then…Now this is the tough one. Take a page from Richard Nixon when he met the Vietnam protestors and attempted to talk to them. With Nixon, the protestors were peaceful and weren’t constantly yelling out epithets at law enforcement in a threatening manner. I’m sure the Secret Service would have been against it, but he could have walked to within say fifty yards or what the SS deemed a safe distance and addressed the crowd, like Nixon, asking them what their concerns were and addressed them. Reassuring them justice for George Floyd would be achieved and a task force set-up to examine police brutality. Would they have listened? Would they have let him talk? Would disrupters have thrown projectiles? We will never know.
One other option would have been meeting or attempting to meet them early in the morning when the crowds were smaller and less volatile. Maybe then he could have had a good exchange and convinced them he wouldn’t rest until justice was meted out.
In retrospect, it would have been better for him to stay in the White House and let the press say and print what they wanted to.