Throughout his administration, President Trump has misused the US military to advance his racist and discriminatory political priorities. He has used the Department of Defense as a prop to lend credibility to his “Muslim ban.” He has taken soldiers away from their regular duties and billions of dollars away from military priorities to support his border wall — a symbol of xenophobia to many. And on Monday, he threatened to deploy the US military against American citizens, who are justifiably outraged and grieving for George Floyd and the others who came before him, over the objections of state and local authorities.
The military is one of the last institutions in which the American public continues to have high confidence, which is why Trump so often turns to it as cover for his most divisive acts. In each of these cases, Trump usually manages to say the right words, but then immediately contradicts himself in his actions. For example, on Monday and immediately before Trump declared himself an “ally of peaceful protestors,” federal authorities forcibly cleared some of these very same peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park using rubber bullets, tear gas, riot shields, and batons.
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