Daily Bread for 8.29.22: Trumpism’s Threats of Force and Ruin

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be cloudy with high of 84. Sunrise is 6:17 AM and sunset 7:33 PM for 13h 16m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 5.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

 Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM.

 On this day in 1997, Netflix is launches as an internet DVD rental service.

Yesterday, as Sen. Lindsey Graham and others sensed Mr. Trump might be indicted on federal charges (and he faces state investigations, too), Graham none-too-subtly twice threatened violence during a Fox News interview:

If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information after the Clinton debacle, which you [program host Trey Gowdy] presided over and did … a good job, there’ll be riots in the streets.


If they try to prosecute President Trump for mishandling classified information after Hillary Clinton set up a server in her basement,” Graham said, “there literally will be riots in the street. I worry about our country.

This is couched, of course, as mere worry over the country, but truly it’s worry that Graham hopes to create, not ponder. 

Unsurprised, unfazed: it is in the very nature of a populist autocratic movement like Trumpism to distort law, contort law, and finally to reject law for the sake of its own ends. The populist means to those ends include threats to violence and, if they feel necessary, violence itself. 

Most of these conservative populists would much rather scare others into submission, and their talk of civil war is often simply live-action role-playing. Some, however, probably will commit acts of violence rather than accept a lawful prosecution of their leader. That’s in the nature of a movement like this. (Under their way of thinking, the law should be what they want, no more or less.) 

At the local level across this country, this faction tantrums and shouts to get its way, and, to be honest, they’ve done pretty well for themselves so far. Sometimes, all it takes is a red trucker cap and local leaders are soaked in their own sweat. See (Local) Fear of a Red Hat. 

It’s always the same with these populists: if others don’t do what they want, they’ll wreck what others have. Won’t decide in their favor at a meeting? They’ll disrupt the meeting. It’s not limits on government that these populists want (as a libertarian would), it’s government power by them, and for them, alone. Trumpism is not smaller government and it’s mostly certainly not liberty for all; it’s bigger government and preferences for MAGA men. 

Individual rights for others? No.

Now, it’s unlikely that most of these conservative populists will use violence, and the ones who do are as likely to harm themselves as anyone else. 

And yet, and yet, one should not be surprised that they’re talking this way — it’s in the very nature of their autocratic movement to threaten the existing legal and constitutional order by whatever means they find useful:

“Nice little community you have here… be a shame if someone wrecked it.”

The Most Expensive Corn Crop in History?:

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