General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

Why doesn't Trump just let the cities burn?

Asked by Yellowdog (10788points) 1 month ago

As I write these words, familiar places including the heart of Manhattan, and near me St. Louis and East Saint Louis, Los Angeles, and at least a dozen other cities, are ablaze and being destroyed with arson and explosives.

As soon as the Police take the basic steps to get one situation under control, they move to another area and once they are gone, the mayhem resumes.

These are mostly Democrat-controlled cities, with mayors and governors sympathetic to their causes Celebrities are being called to bounce the perpetrators out of jail where they go back to their rioting, looting, and explosives.

When Trump has announced that if the local authorities do not call the National Guard or support their law enforcement, that he would call on the military to reinforce local law enforcement, in order to protect the lives and livelihood of the citizens, there is massive protest and demonizing the President as if he has sent the military against the American people (another discussion tonight cites an article in Vox where Trump is said to be the cause of this mayhem, along with Covid, and every other problem in America.

My question is, why doesen’t Trump just let them fight it out and let Antifa have its way? Rather than call for military intervention, why not just let these arsonists, anarchists, and domestic terrorists, just burn it all down? Why put our military in harm’s way when there is so much opposition ?

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51 Answers

raum's avatar

Wow. This question is a new personal low for you.

I don’t want Trump ordering martial law. But your rationale is just crazy.

Yellowdog's avatar

Aren’t you against the military being sent in to stop the destruction?

Its been condemned in several questions on Fluther today. Rather than just bash Trump, calling him this or that, why not answer the question as to what should be done?

The only alternatives to calling in the Military would be to wait for Antifa and similar groups to have some kind of a change of heart, or let the cities burn.

I am asking this for understanding. I really have seen quite a bit on Fluther today condemning the President’s sending the military in. So, what should it be?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Trump has a way of escalating problems, why not try it this way, this Sheriff did.. . https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/31/us/flint-michigan-protest-police-trnd/index.html

Demosthenes's avatar

Because that’s the wrong thing to do. You don’t sit by and let things burn. That doesn’t mean I think the military is the right solution (at least not yet), but there’s no benefit to letting parts of this country to be destroyed. Trump is the president of the entire nation, not just the parts that support him.

Soubresaut's avatar

Slight correction: The editorial didn’t claim Trump was the cause of the mayhem. It considered various tensions dividing America right now, from various causes/sources. A portion of it also suggested that Trump, who’s bread and butter are division/discord, is not the kind of leader who will bring the country together and mend the divisions.

Local governments across the country have been working to stop the destruction without further escalating the situation, and they’ve been adjusting their measures as things have developed. Trump, by contrast, is more concerned about looking tough and “dominating” the situation, regardless of escalation, which is probably why he presented this decision by first framing a clear entity to blame (those evil blue states, as you’ve pointed out) and then used the military as a threat for those states (which, again, you’ve pointed out). Why wouldn’t people react badly to a president presenting military force as a threat?

Yellowdog's avatar

@Demosthenes Trump said that the victims were peace-loving citizens i n low-income communities, and as their president, he would protect them. I would imagine that most of these persons do not support Trump. For this, he has been lambasted on Fluther and in the media for “using the military against American citizens” (the rioters and looters).

What do those who oppose this course of action want Trump to do? His Rose Garden address sounded rather Churchillian to me. But is sure was met with vitriol So, if not to sit by and let all these people die defendinding their businesses and homes, what are we to di?

Patty_Melt's avatar

Because it’s his job.
Because it’s his passion.
Because he swore an oath.

Jonsblond's avatar

Antifa isn’t the problem here. It’s white nationalists.

mazingerz88's avatar

trump is also now just being an incompetent asshole and not just an incompetent clown president with nothing better to do.

He will let the cities burn or not burn just so he can lay blame on his political opponent and haters. Whatever helps him he will do. Act or not act it doesn’t matter.

He is a dangerous and useless orange piece of turd.

Jeruba's avatar

Can you see this article in the Washington Post?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/01/we-saw-it-with-our-own-eyes-trump-wants-go-war-against-america/

One of many such. It might partially answer your question.

Tell me something, @Yellowdog. I’m not trying to convert you; I’m sure it can’t be done. And I do need to remind myself frequently that it’s possible for someone with sincere intentions to buy into this guy’s madness. But I really want to know: do you or don’t you ever, ever doubt him—his word, his intentions, his character? Do you honestly and truly think he’s all right?

 
Also noted: In your OP, your question is WHY Trump does something. We (thank goodness) can’t see inside his mind. A few posts later, you’ve morphed it into a question about what should be done. Please consider that these are entirely different questions.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Gee, my link is in his own words.

KNOWITALL's avatar

While it may be an interesting experiment to let them burn, his duty is to protect the rest of us from looters and criminals.

Yellowdog's avatar

He sure is getting a lot of opposition for that.

The next impeachment charge will probably be for turning the military on “American citizens”—judging from what the press was gaggling him with.

Soubresaut's avatar

Immediately following his press conference, he had police use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse peaceful protestors and priests from the St. Episcopal Church so he could get a photo op. What sort of message do you think that sends? Why shouldn’t people oppose that?

Yellowdog's avatar

Uh, @Soubresaut m you DO realize those “peaceful protestors” just burned the church down, don’t you? St, John’s Episcopal was one of the oldest churches on the Eastern seaboard—Virtually every U.S. president was ministered to by that church. Btw, Episcopalians are fairly liberal and sympathetic to left-wing causes.

How do you juxtapose that these were peaceful protesters’ when they just left the church an empty shell in smolders?

Jaxk's avatar

At some point it becomes apparent that the protests, peaceful or not, are enabling the looters and rioters. After 7 days of mayhem the point has been made, George Floyd should not have died. How many people must die, how many lives must be ruined, before we can say the message has been heard. Everyone wants to think that some inspirational speech, or some ground breaking legislation will solve this but it won’t. The rioters and looters are using the protest as cover for criminal behavior. If you are enabling the riots, You’re not a peaceful protester.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Yellowdog—No, the peaceful protestors did not burn the church down. No, priests were not handing out snacks and water to the people burning their church down. I don’t know what the church’s political affiliations have to do with it, and I don’t want to believe you mean that statement in the way that I’m understanding it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Jaxk I think you are correct,and the only thing that will truly solve this is Police HAVE to be accountable for their actions, and pay for their actions just like any ordinary citizen would.

Yellowdog's avatar

It is possible that we are discussing different churches or stories.

But yes, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. was handing out water to the peaceful protestors. Their church was looted and burned by violent protestors within the hour, who were dispersed with tear gas. Today, the fires are out, and the church is a boarded-up empty shell, and probably will remain so for decades.

Soubresaut's avatar

It’s possible we are. I linked a news article that reports what I was referring to.

Also: From what I understand, the church was burned the previous night.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Hey @Soubresaut No link came through with your last post.

Soubresaut's avatar

Sorry, should have been clearer—it was in this post

Jaxk's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – The cop has been charged with murder. All cops involved have been fired and are likely to face charges of their own. None of this has quelled the violence nor softened the protests. I’m not sure that even a public lynching would do it. If they overcharge the cops (murder 1 for all) the chances of an acquittal rise. I would hate to see that happen as it would likely be met with this whole hing starting over. At this point it looks like people looking for vengeance rather than justice.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I agree, but how many times in the past have the cop in question got off with just a slap on the wrist or less?
And you can’t really blame these people,and NO that doesn’t mean I condone their actions, but how many times do we about cops killing an unarmed white person?

mazingerz88's avatar

Instead of just zeroing on the looters and rioters why not zero in on how the police can get rid of deranged cops in their ranks?

Has the TV show host at the WH mentioned anything about that issue that is not just another total BS?

Maybe if something is done about that there will be no riots and looting?

Soubresaut's avatar

@Jaxk—the people who are protesting (not the people who are taking advantage of the situation) are looking for reform that will help prevent this kind of thing from happening again, and will better address the fact that people aren’t being treated equally under the law. They aren’t only looking for the cops that murdered Floyd to be legally held accountable for their actions —yes that’s part of it, but unfortunately his death isn’t an isolated incident.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@mazingerz88 That’s exactly right. Communities need to start being more involved with who’s policing them.

A local city near here just put one cop out for saying to ‘fire on them’ regarding protesters.
https://www.ozarksfirst.com/local-news/local-news-local-news/ozark-police-puts-officer-on-administrative-leave-for-statements-made-on-social-media/

Jaxk's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – there are about twice as many whites killed during arrest as blacks. They just don’t get the same publicity.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^That should change. And addressed as well if there’s police abuse.

Soubresaut's avatar

^^ Agreed, it should change and be addressed. But also proportions matter, don’t they? If you are black, or a person of color, you are more likely to be killed by police. (And more likely to be chased down like Ahmaud Arbery was most recently).

[Edit—I don’t seem to be able to get a link for only the “Race and Hispanic Origin” section of the table, but that’s what I was trying to point to.]

mazingerz88's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m glad they didn’t fire him and instead put him on leave for now. I don’t agree with hasty reactions without careful thought and consideration.

It’s complicated business running a police department I can only assume. What it needs is strong, insightful and cool-headed leadership from top rung to bottom.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@mazingerz88 It’s complicated in a Stand Your Ground state but yes, you still need to be careful about wording, especially when it’s your job to be a peacekeeper.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think he’s going to answer my question. Funny, I actually thought he would.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jeruba Most Reps that are Pro-Trump think he’s better than Dem alternatives, yes, but they do often shake their head. That’s a given.
But that balances out in Trumps favor due to Dems terrible political moves, like Kavanaugh and Covfefe.

@Yellowdog and I don’t always agree, but in this case I’m fairly confident he’d tell you the same thing.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I see people from both sides here shooting at the same target, and missing with every shot to either side.
If anybody wants to have a real discussion, and not a bunch of bashing, I’m open to PMs.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

You say you don’t want bashing, but Trump himself said you have to show domination of these people, well gol darn that sure sounds like a good way to escalate the situation.
The Sheriff from Flint showed true diplomacy and actually talked to the demonstrators asked them what they wanted ,and YOU know what they wanted they wanted to be heard, that Sheriff and his men took off their riot gear and joined the demonstrators and you know gee no property damage, no one hurt or arrested and the demonstrators got heard, now I will do a bit of bashing think your Don Father will even mention this Sheriff, bet not .
For the Don Father it’s shoot first and count the bodies later.
That Sheriff is a true Hero, and has earned my highest respect, I wish all cops were like him.

Soubresaut's avatar

I will never not be frustrated by the idea that some people think random users on Twitter should be held to a higher standard of behavior than the POTUS; or that the Democrats in Congress responding to a SCOTUS seat being stolen from a sitting president by highlighting someone who claimed they were sexually harassed is somehow worse than the Republicans having stolen a seat to begin with, or worse than Trump making a show of filling seats in a debate audience with accusers of his rival’s husband. It just looks like a lot of partisan cherry picking, wanting to have the cake and it eat too, of wanting to hold anyone considered part of or associated with the “other team” to a higher standard than anyone considered part of the “home team,” of accepting the degradation of the presidency for the sake of partisanship.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Trump was talking about the hoodlums watch the whole, unedited speech squeeks. I posted it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Soubresaut In full disclosure it’s an often-spoken rule (here, now) we aren’t allowed to compare presidential behavior party vs party.

I was never in favor of that but otherwise you get screamed at en masse.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I watched the whole speech @Patty_Melt and it sounded more like he was getting ready for war, NOW did you at least look up what that Sheriff did?
I will say you can’t let rioting and looting start,but law enforcement should realize that a lot of times it is they who escalate the situation that Sheriff realized he could escalate the situation, or de-escalate it he chose the to de-escalate it and for that he has earned my highest respect he should have earned everyones respect.

Soubresaut's avatar

@KNOWITALL—I’m sure I’m being nitpicky here, but since I was responding to two specific examples of a party v. party comparison that you gave, wouldn’t your advice apply to both of us?

Also, I don’t want to speak for you, @Yellowdog, or @Jeruba, but I don’t feel saying “he’s worrisome, but on balance he’s better” is really an explanation for a seeming unwillingness to mention or acknowledge “worrisome” parts of the equation, which is what I understood the question to be about.

Yellowdog's avatar

@Jeruba The article you linked states loudly and openly that “Trump wants to go to war with America.”

Why? Because he is calling on the national guard to protect businesses, lives, and private property from being destroyed in fire and blood. The police are outnumbered, – people are screaming that this isn’t about black or white, it is about JUSTICE! and people are dragged from their cars and businesses and have their skulls smashed opened.

Many of the businesses being destroyed are minority owned or serve minority communities, They will NEVER be able to recover.

EVERY city is ablaze. Sending out the national guard to defend lives, livelihood, and properties, is NOT declaring war on America.

So, quit on claiming the moral high ground.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think it’s surreal that the same group of people who think being asked to wear a mask during a pandemic make up the majority of the group who are comfortable with the president calling the military in this situation.

Anyhow, my real answer is that it looks powerful and heroic to his base. He wants to look good. It’s an election year, after all.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Soubresaut Correct. Both parties are sleazy.

Soubresaut's avatar

@KNOWITALL—Again, apologies if this is nitpicky, but we don’t agree on this. I still don’t feel like offering an argument of whataboutism is really answering @Jeruba‘s question. Maybe she thinks it is, I don’t presume to speak for her. It might just be my own thing that I feel like a “yesBUT” or a “maybeBUT” is different from a “yes.” I would also note that @Yellowdog has not joined you in that answer.

Yellowdog's avatar

@Soubresaut I believe you are right about the church. It was already boarded up the night of the ‘photo op’

As far as their political position, their beliefs are that Donald Trump is worse than Jesus. After all, Donald Trump exists.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Yellowdog Your orange idol doesn’t really give a hoot about victims of the rioters. If you believe that I have another bridge to sell. He is not the clown to pull this circus act off properly. He is not in the set of The Apprentice right now.

He might actually end up having more Americans killing more fellow Americans, see? Better believe it.

Look on the mayors and governors instead for answers, blame them and hold them responsible if you want but your orange idol being who he is, what he is and where he is….occupying that office, he is better off hiding and sitting in the toilet in that bunker sucking his bone spurs.

That will put him on script. And America would be safer.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Yellowdog I appreciate it, thanks.

For the other part, I am still having a hard time not reading it in a certain way that I don’t think you mean, because I still don’t understand what the church’s political position has to do with this. Are you saying that their political position should affect how Trump treats them? (Could you explain what you mean by the statement?)

Yellowdog's avatar

The church clergy made a hyper-political rant declaring that it was Trump making a photo-op .

According to them, Trump did not have ‘permission’ to be on the property. I never heard of a church accuse anyone of trespassing. They also condemned and judged Trump for holding a Bible, as if he had no right to do that. Last time I checked, the Bible was in public domain, and Trump has supported Christians of all denominations. Last time I checked, the Episcopalians really do not hold the Bible in high regard.

But it WAS very Christlike of them to give water to the mobs that left them in smoldeers and desecrated their property.

JLeslie's avatar

Trump won’t let the cities burn because his friends are now losing money. Walmart, Target, lots of stores had to be closed because of the rioting and looting.

Also, if the country gets too out of control it risks even his re-election. He needs his followers to stay loyal to him.

I think he also does have a big enough ego that he wants to calm the country enough that he can take credit for it.

Clarification question: Was Trump calling for the national guard, or the actual Army to go into cities? National Guard has already been activated in some states. In Florida they have been active for over two months regarding COVID, I would assume my governor could easily reassign them to protestor demonstrations. I have no researched what has been done, I am just postulating. I assume other states have been using their National Guard also. If you ask me if these protests should have a strong military presence I say no, I think it is antagonistic and just another thing that is bizarro world for me as an American to see in my country. The circumstances would have to be so extreme to bring in military force. Force is different than help.

Soubresaut's avatar

@Yellowdog—I’m really sad that based on your last response you seem to be choosing to use political associations as a way to determine facts and to brush off uncomfortable truths.

Fortunately for this specific incident you don’t have to do that, as there are plenty of other witnesses, plenty of others who experienced it firsthand, and plenty of video footage, if you look for it.

But it saddens me that you seem so willing to so completely “other” fellow Americans, especially given the context of this question (just let the cities burn). I really hope that’s just a mistaken impression on my part, and I look forward to you proving me wrong.

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