Throughout the rest of the western world, police killing people is a fairly rare occurrence, yet it’s on the rise in the US. The US also has the highest incarceration rate in the world and is one of the few western nations still practicing the death penalty. The cynical “tough on crime” political strategy combined with rampant over-criminalization has led to a country where more than one in four people has a criminal record. Americans are not unusually predisposed to violence or crime, yet the US has one of the largest, most expensive, and cruelest (in)justice systems in the world. Don’t even get me started on how overtly the system is stacked against minorities and the poor.
Trump’s actions and words are, as is typical these days, entirely indefensible, but he’s only playing to his audience. The real problem is not the old rich guy with the microphone, it’s the tens of millions of people who are nodding along with his threatening characterizations and insinuations. Until people start thinking differently, tyrants will continue to exploit their willingness to sic the state on their neighbors.