As America’s problems continue to get worse, and Donald Trump continues to provide no leadership or solutions, his poll numbers continue to drop. So now he’s trying his latest desperate stunt in the hope of getting back into election contention.
This afternoon Trump declared on Twitter that “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” That’s cute, but there are two fundamental problems here. The first is that, to hear Trump tell it, “Antifa” is a far-left domestic terrorist organization based in the United States. But various legal experts have pointed out that under U.S. law, the government can’t declare any domestic group to be a terrorist group. So Trump’s “designation” is nonsense that he can’t actually act on.
The second and bigger problem for Donald Trump is that “Antifa” basically doesn’t exist. Who are its leaders? There aren’t any. Where is it based? Nowhere. What acts of terrorism has this group committed? None. “Antifa” is essentially just a leftover name from the World War II era (it literally stands for “anti-fascist”), and conspiracy theory lunatics like Donald Trump Jr like to throw the term around at anyone on the left they don’t like.
It’s not as if Donald Trump’s stooge Bill Barr can round up “Antifa leaders” who don’t exist, and charge them for “terrorist attacks” that don’t exist. Trump is gambling that by pretending to designate an imaginary entity as a terrorist group, Americans at large will naively believe that he’s doing something to make things better. No one outside his own base is that stupid. And as his worsening numbers keep showing us, Trump can’t win in November with his base alone. There’s a reason most people are making fun of Trump over this: it’s a feeble attempt at changing the narrative that won’t make a dent, except to make him look even more stupid.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report