The FBI may acknowledge that the major threat of domestic terrorism originates in the no-longer shadowy world of the alt-right white nationalists who have adopted fascist views and violent tactics and been responsible for the majority of recent mass shootings, but Donald Trump sees political points to be won by generating unwarranted animus towards another group that opposes him and all that he stands for — Antifa.
Despite no evidence that the loosely defined organization has any agenda beyond responding to right-wing, neo-Nazi demonstrations with an equally confrontational presence, Trump wants his Twitter audience to belive the Fox News talking points about Antifa in order to both minimize the responsibility of white supremacists for the mass of deadly shootings and to gaslight the public about the source of the actual largest terrorist threat facing the nation.
Today, Trump announced via his preferred medium that he is pushing to have Antifa designated an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR,” as he capitalizes it to instill the maximum amount of fear that he so transparently utilizes as a political cudgel.
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Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2019
President “Fine people on both sides” Trump clearly has a blinder on one of his rheumy eyes as he fails to recommend a similar designation for the violent alt-right group “The Proud Boys” or any of the other numerous neo-Nazi gangs demonstrating in Portland, Oregon.
While the Antifa has made its mission to oppose fascism as its name suggests, its methods of confronting white supremacists — by responding to right-wing violence at marches and demonstrations with an equally physical response — has led to clashes in the streets of Portland and other cities that have led to fears that their refusal to back down in the face of attacks will escalate and expand the already tense political divide in America.
It is ironic that the President of the United States is singling out Antifa at a time when the extraordinarily popular Avengers movie franchise features as one of its primary heroes Captain America — a comic book character whose entire identity since its creation during World War II rests upon his fight against fascists and Nazis at a time when punching a Nazi seemed to be the least any patriotic American could do.
While Trump has upended any traditional sense of justice in this country with his disregard for the rule of law, his embrace of fascist principles and tactics ensures that no one will offer the same hopes to him that he offers to the Mayor of Portland — simply because few people at this point believe that the mentally failing president will ever be able to properly do his job.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.