Donald Trump Has Discovered He Can Dial Up a Mob Whenever He Wants

Protesters block streets in Lansing, Michigan, to display their hostility toward the governor's stay-at-home order.TNS via ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

For the first time ever, I’m a little scared of what Trump might do later this year:

The picture is from Joshua Bickel of the Columbus Dispatch, and it shows a swarm of protesters outside the Ohio statehouse. Roughly speaking, what happened is that Trump ordered up a mob, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh passed the order along, and local GOP groups happily ginned one up. Needless to say, this isn’t limited to Ohio:

Across the nation, protests against the stay-at-home orders that health experts say are needed to save lives are taking place, with more set for the coming days….In Raleigh, more than 100 demonstrators gathered to protest Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order…. Kentucky, Utah and Wyoming also saw similar protests. More events are scheduled for Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Oregon, Idaho and Washington state.

The largest took place in Michigan on Thursday, where police said 3,000 to 4,000 people showed up at the state Capitol in Lansing to protest Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extended and expanded stay-at-home order, which was signed into law last week. The protests have had a tea party flavor to them, with demonstrators carrying “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and wearing “Make America Great Again” gear. Some have even waved Confederate flags.

As always, the danger here is not so much Trump himself. It’s been obvious for a long time that he’s a sociopath who doesn’t care about—or maybe even understand—the consequences of his actions on other people. The danger is that the Republican Party, so far, is cheerfully going along with him. Even in the middle of a global pandemic that’s already killed more than 100,000 people, they are acting as Trump’s loyal spear carriers no matter how reckless or deadly he’s become.

Even after three years of Trump, I guess I didn’t believe that Republicans would truly go so far. But even the prospect of bodies stacked endlessly in mass graves hasn’t brought them to their senses. I guess at this point nothing will.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate