Eugene Robinson: ‘I Am More Worried Than I Have Ever Been About the Future of This Democracy’
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Eugene Robinson sounded the alarm about the future of American democracy on Monday after President Donald Trump threatened to send in the army to quell protests about the death of George Floyd.
The Washington Post columnist told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he didn’t want to be hyperbolic but he was genuinely concerned about the country’s course.
“[Trump] doesn’t understand it. He’s not interested in understanding it. I mean, you know, this just in, Donald Trump is a liar,” Robinson said.
He explained that the protests were a result of the deaths of African Americans.
“Governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed,” he went on. “And consent is withdrawn for that, not just from not just African Americans protesting, but if you look at the protest crowds, they are remarkably diverse in every imaginable way. People just poured out to say, ‘Enough.’ So, of course, we decry any violence, but you have to understand that this moment is real. That this crisis is real.”
“And that we as a nation need to do something about this now. Because time is up. And we are deeply unfortunate to have the worst possible president at this moment. Because he is not capable of that sort of empathy. He is not capable of feeling anyone else’s pain except his own. And so the result is the display we saw yesterday.”
“So, you know, the 1807 Insurrection Act, well, if George H. W. Bush used it during the L.A. Riots, and in the hands of George H.W. Bush, it was OK. It was OK because he understands the idea of America, in a way that President Trump does not. And so in the hands of Donald Trump, this is extremely dangerous.”
“And I, like [historian] Jon Meacham, have always shied away from hyperbole about, you know, dictatorial rule and whither American democracy — always believed we’d get past this, we’d get over this. We are stronger and more resilient.”
“But there are powerful tools in the hands of any president. Other presidents have not used them because they have known that it was beyond the Pale to do so. Donald Trump doesn’t know that, doesn’t care about that. So I am more worried than I have ever been about the future of this democracy.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.