The FBI executed a legal search Monday on Donald Trump’s tacky Florida McMansion. He wasn’t shot in his sleep or anything, but nonetheless Republicans are insisting this is the most disgusting, atrocious thing to ever happen in America. Donald Trump is now Republicans' George Floyd, except for how he’s still alive.
Look, the MAGA faithful even gathered at Trump’s residence for a White Assholes Matter rally. Guys, he’s OK!
\u201cThis is part of the reaction from the crowd that gathered near Mar-A-Lago following search warrant being executed\n\n@nbc6 @NBCNewsNow\u201d— Cristian Benavides (@Cristian Benavides) 1660005714
Shortly after Trump whined about the FBI’s search, the Republican House Judiciary account tweeted with zero self awareness: "If they can do it to a former President, imagine what they can do to you.” Forced-birth activist Abby Johnson shared a similar sentiment: “If the FBI can go after a President, they can come after any of us.” That’s the whole point of a liberal democracy. The law treats everyone equally, regardless of status.
In a just society, a wealthy, powerful person would see the police brutalizing someone on the street and think, “If they could do that to any human being, they could do that to me.” Instead, most American rightwingers take comfort in a class hierarchy where law enforcement oppresses the marginalized and lets the powerful do whatever the hell they want. That’s their selective definition of freedom.
Composer Frank Wilhoit wrote that “conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” This explains how rightwingers view “criminals” in general. They aren’t simply people who break the law (why, that could be anyone, even them!). Instead, they’re an entirely separate class, usually not white but almost always poor. They aren’t fully citizens and don’t deserve constitutional protections.
As recently as last week, Trump was still on his authoritarian “law and order” kick. He’s proposed executing drug dealers. He’s supported Russia’s imprisonment of Black lesbian WNBA star Brittney Griner on BS drug charges. His fellow Republicans insist that America’s cities are on fire because “woke” prosecutors aren’t locking up criminal suspects indefinitely without bail. Oh, and Trump wanted the military to shoot peaceful protesters.
But MAGA considers the law a weapon, not a principle. It’s a blunt instrument to wield against enemies and perceived inferiors. They can’t cope with even the mildest shock to the system.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene predictably transitioned from “back the blue” to “all cops are bastards.” She tweeted yesterday, “DEFUND THE FBI” like she’d just seen Judas and the Black Messiah. (Don’t expect her to co-sponsor an actual law enforcement-defunding bill with Rep. Cori Bush.)
Greene doesn’t want to just shut down the X-Files division — because honestly, traveling around the country looking for UFOs and Bigfoot is a waste of taxpayer money — no, she wants to burn down house that J. Edgar Hoover built. (Technically, progressive activist Charles Joseph Bonaparte created the bureau of investigation that later became the FBI, so that’s presumably sufficient poison for the larger tree.)
Cops have shot Black people in broad fucking daylight, and Republicans cautioned against rushing to conclusions. That was unfair to the police officers, whose hands still had powder burns. Now, Trump's cultists are quick to assume malicious intent and prosecutorial misconduct when their leader is held accountable.
Tuesday morning, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin tweet-lied: "A stunning move by the DOJ and FBI. This same DOJ labeled parents in Loudoun County as terrorists and failed to enforce federal law to protect Justices in their homes. Selective, politically motivated actions have no place in our democracy.”
None of this is true, but it fosters the fascist persecution complex. Last fall, the Department of Justice received more than "20 instances of threats, harassment, disruption, and acts of intimidation that have transpired during school board meetings and that are targeted at school officials." The DOJ was asked to "investigate, intercept, and prevent the current threats and acts of violence against public school officials.” Attorney General Merrick Garland can’t turn a blind eye to overtly criminal behavior just because it helped Republicans win big in Virginia.
We shouldn’t expect that any Republican politician or voter will somehow soften their overall “tough on crime” stances. "Law and order" isn’t about “justice.” It’s about keeping everyone in what they believe is their “proper” place.
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