“These right-wing forces are coordinating and positioning themselves to be able to launch a coup against American democracy and the Democratic Party, if the latter gains control of the presidency and government.”
By Chauncey Devega
In the Age of Trump, Portland, Oregon, is no longer just another city. Now it is a symbol and almost a Rorschach test for the country’s deep and explosive political divides.
For Trumpists, Republicans and members of the far right, Portland is all that is wrong with “the Left” and “Liberals,” a chaotic nightmare zone where Black Lives Matter, antifa and other “enemies” are running amok while they attack “patriotism” and “real American values.”
To TrumpWorld, Portland and other Democratic-led big cities (which of course is virtually all of them) are hives of scum and villainy, overrun by criminals and “rioters,” which must be conquered by Trump’s enforcers and armed vigilante supporters.
“Most mainstream news media coverage of the protests which have taken place here in Portland, recently and before, totally fail to acknowledge or even fathom the police involvement in the rise of the far right in this community.”
Trump’s “law and order” politics, and its inherent racism and violence, are believed by many to be his path back to the White House. In this view, Portland and other “Democrat cities” and communities are targets of opportunity for the Trump regime.
Writing at Washington Monthly, David Atkins explains Trump’s mindset:
“He sees the violence as politically beneficial, a useful cudgel against Democratic nominee Joe Biden — even though the violence is happening while Trump himself is president, not Biden.
“Trump’s election theme is that Americans won’t be safe in a Biden presidency. The opposite is true. Americans won’t be safe as long as a white supremacist president is leading a movement of bigots to incite a civil war, and attempting to ensure that the majority of Americans with cosmopolitan, egalitarian values remain politically disenfranchised and under the thumb of those who fear and despise them.”
Trump’s campaign of racial authoritarianism and stochastic terrorism, as well as overt threats of “law and order,” resulted in a group of his supporters driving into Portland last weekend, armed with mace and paintball guns, to seek out confrontations with Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters. During one such encounter, a member of the right-wing militia group Patriot Prayer, Aaron Danielson, was shot and killed. On Thursday night, the apparent shooter, Michael Reinoehl, was himself shot and killed by U.S. marshals in Olympia, Washington.
Despite this lamentable violence — for which Trump and the right must bear ultimate responsibility — for progressives and other people of conscience Portland is a symbol of resistance and hope. As part of the nationwide people’s uprising sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protesters have been outside the Portland federal courthouse for more than 100 days.
For Trump, violence is the goal
The protests were largely peaceful until Trump and acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf deployed federal police forces to the city in July. Their presence, as designed, escalated the tension and led to increasing levels of property damage and incidents of violence.
Previewing Trump’s plan for other parts of the nation, these federal shock troops made journalists and reporters a special focus of their violence. They also kidnapped protesters and other “enemies” of Donald Trump’s regime off the street as though they were operating in a banana republic.
Much of the mainstream American news media’s coverage of the recent events in Portland lacks meaningful context …