“LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” Trump Pours Gasoline on Mounting Tensions Over Stay-at-Home Orders

The latest signal that social distancing has turned into a culture war.

Paul Sancya/AP

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

As the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic continues to rise, thousands across the country—many of whom were seen wearing MAGA hats and chanting “lock her up” in reference to Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer—took to the streets on Wednesday to protest stay-at-home orders that states have put in place to curb the spread of infections. 

The scenes were a kind of depressing manifestation of President Donald Trump’s own frustrations with the public health crisis and the social distancing measures—largely endorsed by his own administration—that he blames for tanking the economy. The hellish timeline continued on Friday with the president blurting out in quick succession:

The trio of tweets, which target states controlled by Democratic governors, is the latest signal that social distancing has fully warped into a culture war, one that depicts Democrats as oppressors willing to sabotage the economy and perhaps, in turn, the president’s reelection chances. The increasingly partisan dynamic comes as Trump’s poll numbers continue to slide amid his botched handling of the crisis.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump’s outburst seems to be linked to a segment he saw on Fox News.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate