Trump's June swoon
History could well look back at June 2020 as the month that the Trump phenomenon unraveled. The official verdict will come in November, but the political wounds President Trump has suffered of late, most self-inflicted, mark this as the beginning of the end.
On June 1, President Trump thought he could puff up his image as a tough-guy enforcer. Riot-geared clad officers and guardsmen pushed peaceful protestors aside so the president could pose awkwardly in front of a church damaged during prior protests. It backfired badly, coming across more tinpot dictator than law-and-order president.
Trump seemed at a loss how to handle the national backlash against abusive police tactics and the repeated deaths of Black men at the hands of police. He issued an executive order to encourage reforms that fell far short of what protestors demanded. Mostly the president continued to rhetorically target the small percentage of violent protestors and dug in on his opposition to removing Confederate symbols.
He warned America — meaning white America — that it was under attack.
“The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments, our beautiful monuments. Tear down our statues and punish, cancel and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control,” Trump said at his comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.
That rally, too, contributed to Trump’s June swoon. The 19,000-seat arena was one-third full. A sea of empty blue seats in the red state seemed symbolic. Spin it as he might try, it was an embarrassment, as was much of the speech.
While Northeast states, which dealt with COVID-19 seriously, see declining caseloads, numbers are spiking in much of the South and Southwest. The empty seats suggested even Trump backers know the health threat is real, even as Trump wants to pretend the crisis is over.
“Here's the bad part,” Trump told his assembled. “When you do testing to that extent, you're going to find more people, you're going to find more cases. So, I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.”
What next from the White House? Breast Cancer Unawareness in hopes of lowering reported breast cancer cases?
Two Supreme Court rulings — the court voted to protect “dreamers” and block workplace discrimination against same-sex and transgender workers — placed the Trump White House on the losing side.
And the month is not over.
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