By Myles Hoenig
It might have worked for the Nixon/Agnew ticket in 1968 to use fear of radicals and Marxism but today Trump using it is frankly ridiculous. The Berlin Wall fell in November 1991, 29 years ago. Most people today have little understanding or even memories of Communist countries and those who do understand Marxism are probably its supporters, namely younger people.
Trump rails against the (peaceful) protesters or Portland yet a majority of the public supports them and their issues, police brutality and impunity, systematic racism, and the greatest gap in wealth in our history. It’s unfortunate that so many of his supporters are major victims of the wealth gap yet don’t see this disparity as a cause of the capitalist system that has produced the conditions that delivered us Trump. Some of the poorest counties in America, vastly majority white and on food assistance, are Trump supporters.
It’s hard to figure out from whom we should fear if Biden is elected, according to Trump. Is he talking about the crime rate in Democratically controlled cities? He is correct in this. The most dangerous cities are controlled by Democrats, but that is primarily due to systemic racism, which encourages a war on drugs and mostly, drug users. But crime in our cities has been long term, before, and it will be after Trump is gone.
The real threat if Biden is elected is from Trump’s supporters. The vast majority do not fit this description but there are strong militia-wannabes out there, armed to the teeth, seeing Trump as a near mythic figure. Their ranks are made up of white supremacists, neo-nazis, KKK members, and all see the government, when it’s not controlled by the Republicans, as their personal enemy. These are the very dangerous people that would react if Trump loses. They have no concern for others’ lives or well-being as we see how they tried to take over the Michigan state house, armed and without masks, and with of course the police acting nonchalantly, the very opposite of how they deal with peaceful protesters.
In living memory, we have never had a flame thrower for a president. He is pouring gasoline on a volatile situation and lighting the match as well. But if he does leave the White House, and if Biden is the president, protests and dissent will continue and suppressed and crushed, like during the Obama years, but the right wing extremists will be waiting in the wings for their next mythic figure, only it’ll be someone with brains.
Myles Hoenig is a political analyst in Baltimore, Maryland. He ran for Congress in 2016 as a Green Party candidate.