Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake published the Trump/Pence campaign’s latest “FOR PATRIOTS ONLY” email. In it, the campaign says it is assembling a “Trump Army.” It is unconcerned with subtlety, directly extending Trump’s own calls for, as he put it, “Second Amendment” responses to Americans protesting police violence. The “President,” you see, is raising a brownshirt army:
“The President wants YOU and every other member of our exclusive Trump Army to have something to identify yourselves with, and to let everyone know that YOU are the President’s first line of defense when it comes to fighting off the Liberal MOB.”
The Trump campaign is fundraising off people being in the "Trump Army" and selling camouflage hats.
"YOU are the President’s first line of defense when it comes to fighting off the Liberal MOB." pic.twitter.com/KIzxDmkDMg
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) June 4, 2020
During any period when a sitting president had not already encouraged his base, from the White House Rose Garden, to arm themselves and perhaps start shooting at other Americans, this emailed exhortation would be seen as merely crass. Today, at this moment, it is self-evident that Trump supporters who receive this email will be further convinced that they are an “Army,” that they are Trump’s “first line of defense,” and that they should prepare for “fighting off” not attackers, not rioters, not even looters, but “Liberals.”
The last line, imploring Trump’s collection of paranoid Americans to “not pass this information on to anyone,” is further meant to fire off conspiracy synapses.
Trump/Pence 2020: We’re Raising A Private Army.
To attack liberals. “Metaphorically,” the campaign will assuredly insist (again) when confronted.
This is not happening in a vacuum. In addition to Sen. Tom Cotton’s latest treason against America, other Trump defenders are calling for violence against liberals.
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) June 4, 2020
Trump’s calls for far-right, “Second Amendment” militia action are already bearing fruit. Three Nevada extremists are now in custody on terrorism charges after being arrested “on the way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles,” part of a plan to cause violence in Las Vegas protests that could be blamed on supposed “antifa” groups.
On Tuesday, a uniform-wearing, heavily armed man was arrested in Los Angeles for impersonating a National Guard soldier and attempting to blend in with security teams.
That one is especially noteworthy because Washington, D.C., is currently being occupied by large groups of unidentified “federal” officers refusing to identify themselves and wearing a hodgepodge of unmarked, different uniforms and gear. Many have been inferred to be Bureau of Prisons riot teams called up by Attorney General William Barr and ordered to not reveal their federal department; in the mix of not-uniforms, however, it would be trivial for any militia-minded paramilitary person or group to wander D.C., armed, to impersonate federal officers and take violent action on their own initiative.
We are in a true moment of fascism. Fox News and other Trump allies are calling for the military occupation of America, over objections of individual states. Retired military officers are coming forward to give the boldest warnings they know how. Trump has now ordered at least one attack on peaceful protesters for the sole reason of gaining media coverage for that attack on live television. Far-right militias are mobilizing. The Republican-controlled Senate has already nullified itself, giving explicit permission for overt criminal behavior from “their” president if it is in service to his reelection, and therefore their own power.
And Donald Trump’s campaign, filled with the dregs of criminal-minded scum that the Trump team could not plausibly put in even his ramshackle administration, is fundraising by selling camouflage-styled merchandise meant to identify wearers as members of an official “Trump Army,” one that is the “line of defense when it comes to fighting off” liberalism.
By which they mean Black Americans and anyone allied with them—anyone who is currently defying Trump, on any street, for any reason.