After painting his dystopian view of America in his speech at the Republican Convention, Donald Trump offered these infamous words, “I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order.” He echoed a similar theme in his inaugural address.
…mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
Leonard Pitts captured the sentiment Trump was expressing.
Poverty, unemployment, miseducation, crime and drugs, issues that have bedeviled every nation and all generations, came to a screeching stop “right here … and right now” at noon on January 20th.
Because there’s a new sheriff in town, pardner. Because he’s putting his foot down. Because he says so.
I was reminded of all that when I saw that last night the president tweeted this:
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
Of course we don’t know what he means when he threatens to “send in the feds.” But if it was in reference to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or the FBI – they’re already there in big numbers. It’s hard to escape the possibility that he means something much more sinister.
With so much on his plate right now, why would Trump zero in on the problem of gun violence in Chicago? There are several possibilities.
- Apparently he was watching Bill O’Reilly talk about it on Fox News last night
- Yesterday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chided Trump for focusing on inaugural crowd size instead of things like jobs and education
- A certain former president calls Chicago home and is planning to build his presidential center in that city
There is also the possibility that Trump sees Chicago as a place to broadcast what he means by promising to be a “law and order president.” Given that the Civil Rights Division of DOJ just released their findings that the Chicago Police Department “engages in a pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution,” it is important to note what the White House has said publicly about their plans.
A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.
I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes…I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I’m looking to punish them…
How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? Criminals must be told that their CIVIL LIBERTIES END WHEN AN ATTACK ON OUR SAFETY BEGINS!
Perhaps last night’s tweet from the president was just another threat cooked up in his fevered mind only to be tossed aside in his short attention span. That is the conundrum (did he really mean that?) I suspect we will find ourselves in pretty often with this administration. But the stakes are too high to simply ignore it.