Conservative Intellectual: Trump Prefers Second Civil War Over Losing Reelection

Megan Everts

President Donald Trump is utilizing division as a political strategy in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Conservative political columnist Matt Lewis argued in an op-ed for the Daily Beast that President Donald Trump wants to “divide and incite” people, pushing closer to a second civil war in order to prevent losing his bid for reelection.

  • Lewis wrote that Trump is “[taking] a page out of the Richard Nixon playbook,” as it is “sadly good politics for a candidate who is losing his re-election” to promote division.
  • He is “trying to divide us between liberal and conservative, between rural and urban, between white and black, and between those who want to end police abuse and those who want to end rioting and lawlessness.”

An example of Trump promoting this division is the photo op he staged on Monday in front of St. John’s Church, Lewis noted.

  • In order to clear the area, “Trump had the police use flashbangs and tear gas” on the peaceful protestors.
  • Then, he “weaponized a historic church and the Holy Bible as a sort of prop” in order to “signal that he is a fighter for his white, evangelical base.”
  • Trump “put the lives of protesters, police, and journalists at stake,” Lewis said, in order to gain some approval from “those who view Christianity as part of their cultural identity.”

Now, Trump is considering taking things a step further by recommending the usage of the military to stop protests, saying “if a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of the residents, I will deploy the United States military, and quickly solve the problem for them.”

By making such statements, the president “has just increased the odds of street clashes with police, military, and civilians, and the likelihood that there will be additional loss of life,” Lewis wrote.

If you think this result would backfire on Trump, causing decent people to recoil from the American carnage, you haven’t been paying attention. Trump has never been about peace and comity. He has never been about persuading. He wants us afraid. He wants us angry. He wants us divided. This isn’t just a nicety if he’s going to turn out his base in November; it’s a necessary ingredient.

Lewis said these examples make clear that “fomenting violence is [Trump’s] campaign strategy.”

Read more here.


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