Writing in The Atlantic this Thursday, Ronald Brownstein contends that as the coronavirus still wreaks havoc on American lives and the economy, President Trump has instead declared war on blue America, “and a growing number of other Republicans are joining him.”
“Trump has long provoked questions about whether he respects the legitimacy of small-d democratic institutions,” Brownstein writes. “But in the crucible of the outbreak, he has grown more explicit than ever about rejecting the legitimacy of institutions controlled by big-d Democrats.”
Blocking testimony from Democrats, asserting sweeping immunity from subpoenas at the Supreme Court, encouraging business owners to defy social-distancing orders — it’s all part of a “multifront assault could mark an ominous new stage in the nation’s political polarization and separation.”
In an op-ed published this Thursday, Bloomberg Opinion editor Francis Wilkinson commented on the armed mob of protesters who descend daily on state capitols around the country, saying that the anger manifested at these protests has been brewing for a long time and President Trump has only fanned the flames.
According to Wilkinson, it’s an open question if the U.S. can get through the election season without political violence. “Trump’s politics have always been a self-conscious vector for violence,” he writes. “His rhetoric fetishizes physical assaults. Deeds flowed from his words, with local hate crimes rising after his rallies.”