Rachel Maddow showed that Trump keeps calling for his supporters to show and protest, but they never take to the streets.
Well, when the day of that first arrest and arraignment came, I mean, that was the scene. And yes, that’s something. That is some supporters of his outside the Manhattan courthouse, but they are a small enough number of supporters that that day they were very much outnumbered by members of the media, who to be fair, had been told to expect these would be the biggest protests we have ever had in America. That’s what they turned out to cover. We had a lot of big protests in America. This is not what a big protest looks like in America, let alone the biggest ever.
But then he got indicted and arrested again. That was earlier this summer. That was in Miami. And he tried again to call his followers out into the streets. He got on right-wing radio, he said we need strength in our country now. They have to go out, meaning my followers, they have to go out and they have to protest. Look, our country has to protest. And then again, just to make it crystal clear, he got online and he literally spelled it out to his supporters. See you in Miami on Tuesday. I will see you there. You should be there. Well, this was Miami on that Tuesday. Some people maybe. A few hundred-ish. We had been promised, he had threatened the likes of which we have never seen. The likes of this we have seen plenty of. This looks like, you know, the weekly protest at the farmers market in your town which is like a different cause every Thursday.
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He told the country his followers would erupt. They would fill the streets. They would shock the nation with their numbers, protests like the country had never seen before. Their enraged protest would shock the country. If anyone dared indict him. It didn’t happen. He then directed his followers explicitly multiple times, okay, yeah, this is what I meant. Now is the time. Get out there. This is it. Go, like I said you would. But nothing happened.
And so when he was indicted a third time when he had to show up to be indicted in Washington, D.C. Earlier this month, Trump did not bother calling for protests. Presumably, it had gotten through to him, if he called for them, they weren’t going to happen. And now we’re expecting him to arrive at the Fulton County jail in Georgia this week for yet another arrest. This time with both fingerprints and a mugshot. And he is not calling for protests anymore. Because that dog has not barked. Which is an important plot point for us in this story. We were told to expect it to happen. The widespread expectation that it would happen, I think, inflected all of the expectations, all of the perceptions of boundaries and red lines and things that would be brand-new and dangerous and unprecedented about this new territory that we’re in in American history. But it turns out, the dog did not bark.
The emperor has no clothes. Trump keeps trying to instigate violence to make Americans afraid to defend their democracy, but his supporters continue not to show up.
Trump is learning that his supporters are not a personal army that he can deploy to terrorize the majority of Americans.
This does not mean that the threat has passed because it only takes a few radicalized Trump supporters to endanger many, but the idea that Trump can violently overthrow the majority has been debunked. Trump called out for his supporters, but they ignored him and kept watching Fox News.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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