We are watching a show. It’s important to keep that in mind.
It has its villains — Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland and other supporters of the “liberal, radical left” idea that people have the right peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
It has its victims, people in towns where they don’t have or need symphony orchestras and art museums and the very idea of street protests fills them with existential horror.
And the show has its hero, too, Donald John Trump, getting tough with those lawless cities, standing between the victims and their fears and not bothering overmuch about constitutional niceties while he does.
That’s how you end up with the recent spectacle of at least one person reportedly snatched off the streets of Portland by federal agents bearing no badges or identifying insignia and stuffed into an unmarked van on no probable cause, or even an allegation of crime.
At this writing, Trump is sending federal agents — using, presumably, the same tactics — to Chicago, which, in his telling, teeters on the edge of criminal anarchy, and he, alone, can save it.