Like Minneapolis, Kenosha and its accompanying racial unrest has emerged as a central tenet of the 2020 presidential campaign. Unsurprisingly, President Donald Trump and Joe Biden came to differing conclusions and propose varying visions for the country.
Even while promoting criminal justice reform success, Trump has unrelentingly supported law enforcement and condemned violent protests; Biden has been late to criticize political violence and, even when he has, frequently engages in absurd moral equivalence. His “progressive prosecutor” running mate has said little of substance other than her usual capricious hyperventilating.
Trump visited Kenosha Tuesday, surveying damaged areas, touring an emergency operations center, and holding a public safety roundtable with diverse attendees. Legacy media was apoplectic the president didn’t regurgitate 1619 Project myths about so-called “systemic racism” in America.
“To stop the political violence, we must also confront the radical ideology that includes this violence. Reckless, far-left politicians continue to push the destructive message that our nation and our law enforcement are oppressive or racist. They’ll throw out any word that comes to them,” the president said instead. “Actually, we must give far greater support to our law enforcement. These are great people. These are brave people. They’re fighting to save people that they never met before, in many cases. And they’re incredible.”
After not mentioning anti-police mayhem at last month’s DNC, perhaps hearing CNN allies note that Democrats ignoring the unrelenting anarchy was “showing up in the polling and in focus groups,” Biden finally addressed matters in a milquetoast speech. He then visited Wisconsin Thursday and spoke for 90 minutes with a racist anti-Semite.
Following months of basement-dwelling, Biden made four public appearances this week, yet regrettably didn’t mention neo-Marxist Black Lives Matter or Antifa — responsible for a murder last weekend — by name. He then irresponsibly said Trump “has no problem with right-wing militias and vigilantes.”
Does that comport with anything Americans have witnessed since Memorial Day? Did right-wingers attack federal courthouses, burn down police precincts, and harass innocent bystanders?
Are Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland and Seattle part of “Trump’s America”? C’mon, man. When not refusing federal assistance, Democrat mayors and governors also have been appallingly slow to contain violence.
So Biden can mouth disingenuous platitudes, and his campaign can spend $50 million this week alone showing his condemnation of looting and invocation of Pope Saint John Paul II, but his failure to call out domestic terrorism speaks volumes. And when hooligans demanded law enforcement cease protecting property so criminals could steal and blind police with lasers, the former vice president somehow was silent.
Biden also missed a lay-up last week when Rand Paul was harassed and needed a police escort to get through a socialist mob near the White House. Biden, who said “the simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America, so now he’s trying to scare America,” easily could add, without abstraction, “there is no room for these attacks on U.S. senators” but he won’t.
Maybe Biden realized much of the left-wing violence and antagonism began under Barack Obama?
“Trump and Republicans have been unequivocally condemning and decrying lawlessness that is occurring in heavily Democratic cities,” Guy Benson opined this week. “Trump has repeatedly offered federal assistance to quell the mayhem, and Democratic governors and mayors have performatively rejected the help, often denying that a problem even exists. This delusion and paralysis has allowed the violence to fester, businesses and property have been destroyed, and people have been assaulted and killed. To pin this on Trump is risible, even if his rhetoric is too often provocative and inflammatory.”
When Trump declared himself the president of law and order, analogies to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan — both of whom campaigned on domestic security against the backdrop of 1960s urban riots — commenced.
Running against Nixon, Hubert Humphrey was an establishment politician and former vice president, who spent decades in the Senate, ala Biden. The Minnesotan was nominated by a Democrat party where enthusiasm and rage emanated from the hard left. Perhaps those divisions make it difficult for Biden, like Humphrey, to sound as tough as his opponent.
As the Black Panther communists and SDS campus revolutionaries were 50 years ago, the aforementioned anti-American radicals will remain a major vulnerability for Biden’s campaign the over next two months.