In the past couple of weeks Donald Trump has re-imaged himself from the virus-denying president — apparently it is not a hoax) — to the “law-and-order” president .

Frustrated by the Pentagon’s refusal to do his bidding, he has cobbled together a paramilitary force from the Homeland Security ranks of DEA, ICE, AFT, FBI, Border Security, etc. These heavily armed, camo-clad troopers were deployed to Oregon, where they violated the civil rights of peaceful demonstrators by unlawful arrests and detentions.

Trump has promised to send these forces to other American cities run by “liberal Democrats.”

History is full of examples of democracies that succumbed to a strongman ruler with military backing. Right-wing media has been playing up the destructive aspects of recent demonstrations, arousing fears of mob rule.

Demonstrators must adhere to their commitment to nonviolence. Throwing water bottles and setting fires are not protected speech and only offer an excuse for repressive reaction.

Jonathan W. Robbins

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