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‘Vicious dogs’ and ‘ominous weapons’: The politics behind Trump’s latest protest threats

President Donald Trump is doubling, tripling and quadrupling down on a bet rooted in history: that when civil-rights protests turn riotous, Americans will favour the iron fist.

His Twitter feed on Saturday again filled with martial language — about using vicious dogs and ominous weapons if protesters storm the White House; the need for strength and old-style generals ; and protesters being screaming ranters whom he tacitly encouraged his own supporters to confront.

Commentators have drawn parallels to Richard Nixon’s law-and-order message of 1968 whom Trump’s own former campaign manager called an inspiration.

History carries more recent examples.

They loom again as angry protests for racial change are sweeping across U.S. cities in an election year and clashing with demands for law and order.

A researcher who studies moments like these in American life was startled by something he noticed about another police-related death and its destructive aftermath, in Ferguson, Mo.His findings involved the reaction of a certain type of American: the self-declared independent white voter. And a certain politician: Trump.”I was pretty struck when we did the data analysis,” said Kevin Wozniak, […]

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