Opinion: President Trump’s Response to Nationwide Protests is the Tell of an Incompetent Leader


Jack Forrest, Staff Writer

The citizens of America stand divided.

The president tweets from the White House.

It goes without saying that the outrage surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer has sparked backlash unlike any of the innumerable other cases of police brutality against African-American citizens. It is evident, due to everything from the protests in countless major cities to the social media outrage, that many people have had enough. And what has the leader of the supposed “greatest nation in the world” had to say about the array of peaceful protests and looters taking advantage of the pandemonium?


Despite the fact that this is one of the many tweets Mr. President has made regarding the nationwide riots, many of them tell the same story. One claims the “Lamestream media” is supporting the violence. Another encourages Democrat-run states to deploy the National Guard like Minnesota, despite many of the states with protests are red, including Indiana. President Trump seeks to further divide Americans in a time that requires a leader more than ever. To accomplish this, he employs straw man tactics to put the blame of the more heinous, unintended consequences of the protests upon political movements. 

It is this heavy reliance on partisan politics that won him the 2016 election. It is always “us against them,” and never “us and them”. It was a very successful tactic for influencing voters, but the same cannot be said about as a leader. How does he plan on bringing the nation together when he openly blames the problems upon half of them?

It’s simple: he doesn’t. He is campaigning. He is again relying on the “us against them” mentality to win himself another four years, despite it hurting chances of Americans coming together. President Trump’s campaign thrives upon a conflict to deflect the attention away from what his administration is doing towards the “enemy”. For his campaign, it was the press. For the pandemic, it was China. For the riots, it is anyone who is not him or his voters. 

When a politician is mistaken for a leader, misinformation and hate rule. Many have assumed the now infamous looting of stores and destruction of local businesses in Minneapolis and across the country is at the hands of the same people looking to protest Floyd’s murder. While this may be the case for some protesters, it is by no means the majority. These are people looking to take advantage of the power vacuum caused by the protests for their own gain. Thus, as President Trump blindly vilifies anyone involved, many believe the protests to be a hate-filled endeavor all around. 

Compare this to President Obama’s 2015 handling of the Ferguson unrest in response to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. In the unrest, two Ferguson police officers were shot.

“Whoever fired those shots shouldn’t detract from the issue,” Obama said on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2015. “They’re criminals; they need to be arrested, and then what we need to do is make sure that like-minded, good-spirited people on both sides —law enforcement, who have a terrifically tough job, and people, who understandably don’t want to be stopped and harassed just because of their race— that we’re able to work together to try to come up with some good answers.”

The people protest. 

POTUS divides.