Despite the temptation, Trump is wise not to send in the troops – yet

Democrats, through Antifa and Black Lives Matter, have engaged in urban warfare for months now.  They caused five hundred million dollars of damage in Minneapolis, turned six blocks of Seattle into warlord territory, repeatedly looted Chicago's businesses, reduced some sectors of Portland into a scene out of a third-world civil war, and tried to wipe out Kenosha's business sector.  Yet Trump has held his fire, refraining from sending in massed federal troops.  Believe it or not, this is a wise decision.

From the day Trump became the Republican nominee in 2016, the left framed him as a Hitlerian fascist.  It didn't matter that Hitler was a socialist and Trump a conservative.  They ignored that fascism, like all forms of socialism, is based upon complete government control ("Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state," as Mussolini explained), while Trump has relentlessly worked to shrink the government and limit its power.

The Hitler narrative also overlooked Trump's long history of not being racist.  Democrats didn't care that, until the moment he became a serious candidate, Trump was famously popular among New York's blacks for the job opportunities he provided and for his generosity.  Nor did it matter to them that Trump's most beloved child had converted to Judaism.  The media latched onto the "fine people hoax" as a lifeline, which is why Biden repeats it obsessively to this day.

For four years, Trump has been steadily chipping away at the Hitler narrative.  He hasn't started wars (unlike all past presidents).  LGBT people are not in concentration camps.  Reporters are getting an earful for their disgraceful behavior, but he's not spying on them, imprisoning them, or killing them.

If Trump sends American troops into Democrat-run cities, though, those four years vanish.  The media will instantly compare pictures of federal troops in U.S. cities to photos of the Wehrmacht marching down the Champs-Élysées in 1940.  You know I'm not exaggerating, because you only have to think how the media reacted when federal agents arrested people attacking a federal courthouse in downtown Portland.  The comparisons to secret police were endless.

The problem isn't just a media establishment waiting to "Hitlerize" Trump.  It's also the fact that the cities that are burning have rebuffed Trump's offers to send in law enforcement help.  They are all Democrat-run cities in Democrat-run states.  Their politicians side with the protesters' goals — the destruction of the existing system, the abolition of police, and a re-segregation with blacks taking on the role of the old Southern Jim Crow demagogues.

Indeed, right up until the polls frightened them, the Democrats saw the riots as a benefit, harming Trump's re-election. Now that the polls have shifted, showing that the public prefers law and order, the Democrats cannot afford to let Trump be the one who cleans up the mess.  All they can do is try to reframe the Antifa and BLM warriors as "white supremacists" or "white militias."

Moreover, as Kurt Schlichter explains in an important post, based upon his experience as a colonel in the California Army National Guard during earthquakes, riots, and fires, it's very difficult for Trump to send troops to cities and states that don't want him, even if he invokes the Insurrection Act.  The logistics are complicated enough if the beleaguered city governments invite him.  If they don't, just getting to the city becomes a full military action.  When the troops hit the streets, it's an invasion.

It's no use, either, likening any effort Trump makes to Eisenhower's reluctant decision to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock after the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education.  In that case, Eisenhower had been negotiating with Gov. Orval Faubus — who had been using the Arkansas National Guard to block the Little Rock Nine's access to their high school — to give the students safe passage instead.  When Faubus reneged on the agreement, Eisenhower felt he had to act, to save face not just in America, but before the world.

Additionally, when Eisenhower acted, he had some advantages Trump lacks.  Outside the South, both the American people and, more importantly, the media supported desegregation.  Eisenhower was also a respected military man.  Finally, Eisenhower was dealing with a one-on-one showdown in a specific location (a school) with the limited mandate of guarding students.

None of these advantages exists here — especially the last.  Trump would be required to send troops to multiple American cities and then have his troops engage in active warfare with violent citizens in the streets.

Wisely, Trump is holding his fire.  He's federalizing local police to bring down protesters one at a time.  He's also giving speech after speech with a sunny vision of America's future.  Meanwhile, the Democrats are painting a grim picture of a dystopian country — and the riots are starting to hang like a millstone around their necks.

So be of good cheer.  Much as you'd like to see order restored, now is not the time.

Image: Army National Guard officer candidates training in 2018, by the Army National Guard; CC BY 2.0.

Democrats, through Antifa and Black Lives Matter, have engaged in urban warfare for months now.  They caused five hundred million dollars of damage in Minneapolis, turned six blocks of Seattle into warlord territory, repeatedly looted Chicago's businesses, reduced some sectors of Portland into a scene out of a third-world civil war, and tried to wipe out Kenosha's business sector.  Yet Trump has held his fire, refraining from sending in massed federal troops.  Believe it or not, this is a wise decision.

From the day Trump became the Republican nominee in 2016, the left framed him as a Hitlerian fascist.  It didn't matter that Hitler was a socialist and Trump a conservative.  They ignored that fascism, like all forms of socialism, is based upon complete government control ("Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state," as Mussolini explained), while Trump has relentlessly worked to shrink the government and limit its power.

The Hitler narrative also overlooked Trump's long history of not being racist.  Democrats didn't care that, until the moment he became a serious candidate, Trump was famously popular among New York's blacks for the job opportunities he provided and for his generosity.  Nor did it matter to them that Trump's most beloved child had converted to Judaism.  The media latched onto the "fine people hoax" as a lifeline, which is why Biden repeats it obsessively to this day.

For four years, Trump has been steadily chipping away at the Hitler narrative.  He hasn't started wars (unlike all past presidents).  LGBT people are not in concentration camps.  Reporters are getting an earful for their disgraceful behavior, but he's not spying on them, imprisoning them, or killing them.

If Trump sends American troops into Democrat-run cities, though, those four years vanish.  The media will instantly compare pictures of federal troops in U.S. cities to photos of the Wehrmacht marching down the Champs-Élysées in 1940.  You know I'm not exaggerating, because you only have to think how the media reacted when federal agents arrested people attacking a federal courthouse in downtown Portland.  The comparisons to secret police were endless.

The problem isn't just a media establishment waiting to "Hitlerize" Trump.  It's also the fact that the cities that are burning have rebuffed Trump's offers to send in law enforcement help.  They are all Democrat-run cities in Democrat-run states.  Their politicians side with the protesters' goals — the destruction of the existing system, the abolition of police, and a re-segregation with blacks taking on the role of the old Southern Jim Crow demagogues.

Indeed, right up until the polls frightened them, the Democrats saw the riots as a benefit, harming Trump's re-election. Now that the polls have shifted, showing that the public prefers law and order, the Democrats cannot afford to let Trump be the one who cleans up the mess.  All they can do is try to reframe the Antifa and BLM warriors as "white supremacists" or "white militias."

Moreover, as Kurt Schlichter explains in an important post, based upon his experience as a colonel in the California Army National Guard during earthquakes, riots, and fires, it's very difficult for Trump to send troops to cities and states that don't want him, even if he invokes the Insurrection Act.  The logistics are complicated enough if the beleaguered city governments invite him.  If they don't, just getting to the city becomes a full military action.  When the troops hit the streets, it's an invasion.

It's no use, either, likening any effort Trump makes to Eisenhower's reluctant decision to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock after the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education.  In that case, Eisenhower had been negotiating with Gov. Orval Faubus — who had been using the Arkansas National Guard to block the Little Rock Nine's access to their high school — to give the students safe passage instead.  When Faubus reneged on the agreement, Eisenhower felt he had to act, to save face not just in America, but before the world.

Additionally, when Eisenhower acted, he had some advantages Trump lacks.  Outside the South, both the American people and, more importantly, the media supported desegregation.  Eisenhower was also a respected military man.  Finally, Eisenhower was dealing with a one-on-one showdown in a specific location (a school) with the limited mandate of guarding students.

None of these advantages exists here — especially the last.  Trump would be required to send troops to multiple American cities and then have his troops engage in active warfare with violent citizens in the streets.

Wisely, Trump is holding his fire.  He's federalizing local police to bring down protesters one at a time.  He's also giving speech after speech with a sunny vision of America's future.  Meanwhile, the Democrats are painting a grim picture of a dystopian country — and the riots are starting to hang like a millstone around their necks.

So be of good cheer.  Much as you'd like to see order restored, now is not the time.

Image: Army National Guard officer candidates training in 2018, by the Army National Guard; CC BY 2.0.