Trump stiffs Charlotte. He can stick it.

Published June 4, 2020

By Thomas Mills

Donald Trump announced he’s pulling the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte. As far as I’m concerned, good riddance. It wasn’t going to be nominating convention, anyway. It was going to be a three day COVID-spreading Trump rally full of sycophants kissing his ass.  Let some other state have it. 

Trump has fully taken over the Republican Party, demanding loyalty to him instead of the Constitution or the principles of the GOP. Most respectable members of the former Party of Lincoln have either left altogether or are engaged in a battle to take it back from populist, illiberal usurpers who prefer authoritarianism to democracy. Like the final bit of detritus swirling in the porcelain throne, the convention will be their last hurrah.

Trump has finally crossed a line that has members of his party outraged. In a sickening show of arrogance and disregard for our Constitution and rights, Trump threatened to order the military to attack citizens of the United States. He’s shown no regard for the lives of African Americans taken unjustly by law enforcement or white vigilantes. Instead, he’s used the unrest to try to further divide our country and suppress dissent. It won’t work. 

 Americans seem to be finally waking up to the threat Trump poses to our democracy and our principles. Poll after poll shows his support beginning to tank and Joe Biden opening up a formidable lead. Real Clear Politics now says the average of recent polls puts Biden at eight points above Trump. There’s still a long way to go, but Biden is looking more presidential every day and Trump is looking more and more like a desperate, wannabe despot. 

For those worried about the election being cancelled or Trump imposing martial law, don’t. With powerful statements, highly respected military leaders are signaling that Trump cannot be trusted. Former Admiral and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and former Marine General and Trump Defense Secretary James Mattis issued stinging rebukes of no confidence in the president. That they issued their statements on the same day is no coincidence. It’s a message to the country and our troops.

 Mattis stated, “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Mullen said, “It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.”

We are in disturbing times when military leaders feel the need to send a signal to troops that their commander-in-chief cannot be trusted to defend the Constitution. Still, it’s a relief to know that if Trump attempts to suppress dissent with military force, the most respected members of the military community are prepared to resist his attempts at destroying our democracy. Trump will learn that the military swear an oath of loyalty to the Constitution, not the president. 

The fix for this mess lies in a robust election that ousts Trump and all of his cowardly enablers. Senators like Thom Tillis who surrendered their principle to curry favor with a menace must be defeated. Mitch McConnell needs to be tossed on the ash heap of history for his destruction of institutions or his refusal to hold the executive branch in check. As the Republican patriots and insurgents at places like the Lincoln Project and the Bulwark understand, the solution is to burn the Republican Party to ground, ousting the authoritarian and racist wing, and rebuilding from the ground up.

So let the Trump rally go somewhere else. We don’t want Charlotte to look like a modern day Nuremburg. Instead, we should be part of the movement to rebuke Trump so badly that we don’t see such dangerously reactive forces infiltrate the highest levels of our government ever again.