With peaceful protests ongoing nationwide, President Trump continued using harsh rhetoric and called for aggressive police tactics to halt constitutionally-protected demonstrations.
While discussing a forthcoming executive order on police reform at a roundtable event in Dallas on Thursday, the president used terms like “force,” “real strength” and “real power” when describing how law enforcement should handle protests, which are a right guaranteed by the first amendment.
“If [authorities] are really gonna have to do a job, if somebody is really bad, you’re gonna have to do with it real strength, with real power,” the president said.
Trump went on to speak about the backlash he faced following the leaking of audio from a conference call with the nation’s governors last week, where he told them to crack down hard on protesters, instructing them to “dominate the streets.” During that call, Trump also encouraged the governors to request military assistance.
“I said, we’re gonna have to dominate the streets… And I was criticized for that statement. And they said, ‘That’s such a terrible thing,’” the president said.
Trump continued to applause, telling the audience that he will stick to what he’s been saying about dominating the streets. But he then added an Orwellian twist, explaining that by endorsing brute force against protesters he’s actually acting compassionately.
“We’re doing it with compassion if you think about it. We’re dominating the streets with compassion because we’re saving lives,” the president said.
— Peter Wade 🤦♂️ (@brooklynmutt) June 11, 2020
The president never said where or how many lives were actually saved during the instances where aggressive police actions were implemented to quell some of the recent demonstrations, although we do know those tactics left many peaceful protesters injured. But none of that seems to matter. Trump glowed in the applause from the crowd while using the strong-arm terms — just more red meat for his base. And with campaign rallies on the horizon, sadly, there will much more to come.