John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time on his final journey home. He has left us to continue on our own journey, and we are on unusually rough road that looks like it’s worsening up ahead.
The clashes in the streets of Portland, Oregon, is reminiscent of what we see happening in dictatorships around the world. Federal troops, unmarked cars, no identification, using tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and batons against citizen protests. The only missing element are armored vehicles.
President Trump sees how easily he can provoke a violent response to his violent posture, so therefore he wants to send tens-of-thousands more federal agents to other cities. He needs the inevitable resulting violence to run in ads for his reelection campaign. He is a malevolent being who feeds off of violence, hate and fear.
Not only does he get what he wants from an aroused populace, he gives cover for agent provocateurs and innocent folks who have been targeted for disinformation and filled with righteous anger.
The lesson of non-violence that Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr. John Lewis, and the thousands of others who took the beatings, is a hard one to learn. And Trump counts on that.
Special Counsel Robert Muller said the Russians never stopped intervening in our elections and will most certainly continue in the fall. No one should be surprised if the Russian state has something to do with the violence in the street. Not directly of course. But in all the ways documented in the Muller report. Through social media posts, dark web sites, false identities, self-deleting notices and all the updated and refined stratagems they’ve had four years to hone and improve.
Given the smackdown a President Biden promised to administer, Vladimir Putin may feel he should go all in on disrupting the election process, in order to give his useful idiot something to hang a claim of a rigged election on and refuse to leave office.
This is not an impossible thought. Trump owns the executive branch, including Attorney General William Barr at the Justice Department and the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliff. In the judiciary, the Republicans have confirmed 200 lifetime federal judges, shaping the judicial branch for a generation.
The Republicans in Congress, Senate and House, are following the no-need-to-speak-its-name white male playbook: They intend on keeping this a white man’s country for as long as possible. Not just financially. They already have a lock on that. But socially as well. So, they will suppress the vote and insist the mail-in ballots are fraudulent. Trump will have the Department of Justice, the Director of National Intelligence and Vladimir Putin on his side.
If it should come to that, congressional Republicans will have to decide: White supremacy and chaos or the Constitution and peace.
Or maybe Trump will say, “Okay, I guess I’m the loser. How can I help the transition?”