Opinion: Deploy the military to protect protestors and journalists from violent police

After hundreds of videos revealing that complaints about police violence are completely valid, there is finally acknowledgement from some public officials that police reform is desperately needed and long overdue. Unfortunately, the National Rifle Association, police unions, Donald Trump, and Republicans at all levels of government will never allow any police reform to take place – not without a nasty fight.

The chief instigator and proponent of institutionalized violence and extra-judicial killings believes the solution to police violence is deploying the U.S. military to aid law enforcement in abusing American citizens for exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, and journalists doing their constitutionally-protected jobs without fear of violence at the hands of law enforcement officers. In fact, it appears that Trump is highly dissatisfied that the level of police violence against journalists and peaceful protestors is not severe enough for his tastes, so he calls out America’s mighty military to join police with orders to “dominate” American citizens and transform the nation’s streets into “battle spaces.”

It was a welcomed relief to hear a growing number of the nation’s military leaders reminding Trump, and members of the Armed Services, that they swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not the president Trump. They also noted that “the oath” entailed defending the American peoples’ constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Since it is now clearly evident that some law enforcement officials are Hell-bent on using their authority under the law to deny Americans their constitutional rights, it falls on the U.S. military to fulfill their sworn duty to defend and support the peoples’ constitutional right to peaceably assemble and file journalistic reports in the free press.

It is time to deploy the military, but for the sole purpose of protecting protestors and journalists from police violence.

It is now clear that the police are not going to stop committing acts of violence and vandalism against the people or they would have stopped long ago and there would be no outrage and no protests. It is also apparent that Trump is only interested in inflicting more pain and suffering on the protestors and journalists exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed rights. The only solution is deploying men and women who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and “protect the rights of Americans from [fascist] police intent on violating them.” It is noteworthy that along with members of the military, Trump and police officers swear an oath to defend the Constitution, but it is fashionable in Trump’s America to betray the oath.

At this juncture, most Americans are aware that several of the nation’s top military leaders have weighed in on Trump’s fascist threat to deploy the military to deny citizens their right to freely assemble and report on the news. In fact, dozens of former defense leaders, both military and civilian, signed on to a “strongly-worded letter condemning President Trump” and his call for a military response against American citizens on American soil. One of the key takeaways from the letter signed by 89 military and defense leaders was prescient in relating exactly how Trump is again betraying his so-help-me-god oath of office. The letter read, in part:

While several past presidents have called on our armed services to provide additional aid to law enforcement in times of national crisis—among them Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson—these presidents used the military to protect the rights of Americans, not to violate them.

As former leaders in the Defense Department—civilian and military, Republican, Democrat and independent—we all took an oath upon assuming office ‘to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’ We are alarmed at how the president [Trump] is betraying this oath by threatening to order members of the U.S. military to violate the rights of their fellow Americans.

The members of our military are always ready to serve in our nation’s defense. But they must never be used to violate the rights of those they are sworn to protect.” (author bold)

A different letter with 280 retired foreign service and military officials as signatories related that they too are “alarmed by Trump, and some [Republican} political leaders calling for the use of military force to ‘end legitimate protests in cities and towns across America.’”

The 280 signatories, who also swore an oath to protect the Constitution, rightly condemned Trump for using terms such as “thugs and terrorists” to describe American citizens he claims are part of the ghost organization “antifa“ because it represents opposition to fascism.

It is noteworthy that before Trump seized power, being against fascist regimes was every Americans’ patriotic duty. Be that as it may, the signers agreed that protestors and journalists are simply exercising their fundamental rights under the Constitution. They wrote:

The deployment of military forces against American citizens exercising their constitutional rights will not heal the divides in our society. Ultimately, the issues that have driven the protests cannot be addressed by our military. They must be resolved through political processes.”

It is possible there is a legitimate sense among the public that it is finally time to put a stop to police violence, much against people of color, by far too many in law enforcement. However, there are forces opposed to any reform and until there is some kind of resolution through political processes, and since Trump will rage against the idea of the military protecting American citizens and journalists, it falls on governors to take extreme measures to protect their citizens from fascist police – and Trump.

Governors have a responsibility to protect their citizens’ constitutional rights and in this current environment those rights are being routinely abridged – with Trump’s approval and prompting. The only solution is for governors to call up their respective National Guard units to provide protection for peaceable protestors and the journalists providing a highly valuable service.

As an aside, in Washington D.C. a group of white supremacist marchers were given protection in the form of a police escort because they were exercising their constitutionally-protected rights to peaceably assemble and exercise their right to free speech. It is also worth noting that when heavily-armed protestors stormed Michigan’s state capital, instead of calling for an armed military intervention, Trump supported the insurgents and demanded that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer “negotiate” with the terrorists Trump labeled liberty warriors.

At this point, there is as much clear and present evidence that the American people need protecting as there is clear and present danger of further instances of police violence without intervention. Of course Trump, Republicans, the National Rifle Association, and police unions will scream persecution, probably religious persecution, but Americans’ constitutional rights must be protected from violent police – something Trump opposes out of hand.



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