This week’s episode of “Things Trump Did That Would Have Gotten Obama Arrested,” featured a doozy, even by our eroding standards of shock. Trump stated on live TV that guns should be preemptively confiscated from people perceived as dangerous.
For clarity, here’s what he said word for word, “A lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures. Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
So, Republicans and the NRA (is there any difference anymore?) will go apeshit over this, right? Texas Senator, John Cornyn pretty much summed up the mood on the right, “I think we’ll sleep on it and see where we are tomorrow.”
Once upon a time, Obama shed tears on national TV over murdered first-graders, suggesting that maybe, perhaps, it might be a good idea to put some rules in place to prevent this sort of thing. The right exploded in rage. And not just the loony, idiotic right like Hannity and Coulter. This is what “moderate” Republican figurehead, Meghan McCain had to say about Obama’s emotional 2016 speech on gun control, “Go to your hometown of Chicago instead of talking about God-fearing Americans when ISIS is coming to their hometown.” Whatever the hell that means, it’s clearly not very supportive or patient.
Skip ahead by two years and thousands additional deaths. Now Trump threatens to summarily confiscate weapons from people who seem like they might be dangerous. The response from the right is a big fat “meh.” Why?
For starters, no one takes Trump seriously. President Drunk Uncle says stupid stuff all day. You’d lose your mind if you tried to keep up with it.
More important, though, Donald Trump has made clear his intention to be President of White People. He regularly disregards laws, democratic norms, civility, and sentence structure without consequence. As long as he remains steadfast in his commitment to restore America for white people, those white people are unconcerned about whatever else he says or does. From collusion with foreign enemies to money laundering, it’s all good if their cultural security is protected.
Republicans don’t love the idea of gun confiscation without due process, but they remain pretty confident that it wouldn’t happen to them, so who really cares? In a white nationalist utopia, laws only exist to contain everyone else’s ambitions.
Perhaps someone still imagines that Republicans might turn on Trump when his abuses cross some imaginary threshold. Hopefully this puts that naiveté to rest. Even when he threatens supposedly sacred gun rights, Republicans aren’t concerned. There is only one thing Donald Trump could say that would give Republicans second thoughts, “You know, those Black Lives Matter protesters are making a lot of sense.”
People supporting Trump don’t care about laws, crimes, rights or morality, at least not enough to let those forces mitigate their ambitions. There is no outrage that would move their conscience.
When the immigration police break up families for no reason, Republicans will “sleep on it.” When we turn away refugees because of their religious background, Republicans will sleep on it. When the President refuses to disclose his business dealings, even after his son in law is caught taking half a billion dollars in bribes, Republicans will sleep on it. When we finally see the reach of the president’s money laundering, Republicans will sleep on it.
As long as they see Trump as ally in the fight to keep white people on top, Republicans will enjoy the sound sleep of the morally vacant. They will tolerate any horror visited on a distant, unfortunate “other” that preserves the security of their cultural bubble. You will not reach them and they will not wince at any abuse visited on you.