Saturday, April 18, 2020

Trump tweets 'Liberate Michigan' after Operation Gridlock protest in Lansing

Two events related to the COVID-19 pandemic happened in Michigan this week and made national news.  ABC 13 in Grand Rapids reported on the first in Rally held against Whitmer's stay at home order causes 'gridlock' in Lansing.

Wednesday around noon, numerous cars caused traffic jams near the capitol building in Lansing as people took part in a protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's recent executive orders.

The main order people are taking issue with is the extension of the stay at home order and what businesses are considered essential and non-essential. On Thursday, April 9, Whitmer extended that order through the end of the month and also introduced new restrictions on garden centers and stores selling furniture and paint.
As far as I could tell, there were no tax marches on Tax Day.  Instead, several states saw protests like this.

That was Wednesday.  Yesterday, President Trump tweeted "Liberate Minnesota," "Liberate Michigan," and "Liberate Virginia," apparently to encourage more protests like this in swing states.  CBS This Morning reported on those tweets and the protests they supported in "Trump goads protesters to defy stay-at-home orders."

President Trump took to Twitter to back right wing protests in several states, staged against the stay-at-home orders of the Democratic governors of those states. Mr. Trump's expressive "LIBERATION" tweets were met with swift replies from the governors of Minnesota and Michigan, asking what he thought the states could do better and expressing hope that he is not encouraging more protests. Nikole Killion reports on the back-and-forth as well as Mr. Trump's ongoing feud with New York Governor Cuomo.
I'm on Governor Whitmer's side on this one.  These protests were discouraging and counterproductive in terms of slowing the spread of disease and ending the lockdown.  For more opinion, I recommend reading Susan J. Demas: Don’t whitewash the GOP’s extremism on full display during Whitmer protest at Michigan Advance for an analysis of Operation Lockdown in Lansing and Teri Kanefield's Twitter thread on the motivation behind Trump's tweets.  I found them informative and I hope my readers do, too.

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