Round One Goes to Trump
The photos of a dignified Trump standing amid the ruins of Kenosha present the defining moment of the first phase of the campaign. Despite his opponents predicting that his presence there would inflame matters, Trump did what any good leader should do. He led from the front, setting an example of calmness and steadiness as he thanked the members of the public services who had tried to contain the riots, provided emergency support, and cleared up afterwards. His was a reassuring presence for the people of Kenosha. After days of rioting, Kenosha was calm. Biden has now said he’ll visit to “heal,” whatever that means.
Biden acts like a figurehead who says what his handlers tell him. Taking press questions (a rare event) he commented on the killing of a Trump supporter who was apparently shot in cold blood in an unprovoked attack during the ongoing riots in Portland, accusing the Trump supporters of “inciting responses.” Why is this logic not used when talking of violent rioters who get shot by armed defenders trying to protect businesses? Maybe, just maybe, because doing so would get in the way of the preferred Dem narrative that these rioters are innocent victims of oppression protesting against injustice. Biden is beginning to look like an elderly, confused owner of an aggressive pit bull who tells you the dog is only reacting to being misunderstood even as the snarling animal is straining on its leash baring its teeth.
The tragedy of Kenosha, along with the response of the presidential candidates, reveals much about the core issues Americans will vote on in November. A properly functioning Democratic Party would have called for calm and restraint, whilst offering sympathy to those who have suffered harm and loss. Instead it promoted the usual “racism” and “police brutality” tropes, despite the fact that the man who was shot – while violently resisting arrest by the police -- was being served a warrant on a charge of sexual assault on his former partner (whose 911 call had brought the police around on this latest incident). The result is that the police officers involved have already been judged guilty by those who seek to foment public disorder. And the Democrats are blaming Trump for the rioting, the deaths, and the destruction of businesses and livelihoods in Kenosha carried out by people with criminal intent. Seeking to shift blame like this is not the conduct of people of good moral character, people who are already neglectful of their duties.
Constitutional government can function only if the Constitution is observed. And that means that the arms of government must fulfill their duty to uphold criminal law, and the primary purpose of such law is to protect law-abiding people from coming to harm at the hands of those with criminal intent. The police have a duty to serve warrants and apprehend suspects. They have the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves against any credible threat of serious imminent harm to themselves at the hands of such individuals. That’s the bare bones of the fundamental issues in the Kenosha incident, and that’s the basis on which it should be judged.
But that’s not how the Democrats are playing it. They implicitly (or worse) condoned widespread social unrest in Kenosha which -- given the febrile atmosphere they deliberately encouraged -- got out of hand with predictable results. The Dems own this one. It has nothing to do with Trump. But the implications are clear. If race-riots can suddenly kick off in a formerly peaceful place like Kenosha, they can happen in any town or city in America.
In effect, this will be read by millions of Americans, whatever their color, as meaning that the Dems have put American voters on notice: vote for us or this will happen where you live. The Dems are claiming that only they can stop the riots, and the logical conclusion is that they can do this because they know how to get in contact with the people organizing them. The evidence for this is that when these riots occur in Dem-controlled towns and cities the local authorities do very little by way of stopping them until the destruction is bad enough to provide useful political propaganda against Trump. And as soon as this aim has been fulfilled, suddenly the rioting stops, as quickly as it began. That’s pretty much all any reasonable, morally competent person needs to know about the Democrats and race-riots.
The Kenosha riots are a case in point. It’s mostly a peaceful, friendly place, and a very unlikely hotbed of racial unrest. It’s now been trashed, and the big question for its residents is whether it will ever recover. The alternative is that it becomes like so many other towns and suburbs blighted by these riots. A place of boarded-up shop fronts and businesses, with a demoralized, impoverished, and hopeless population predated upon by criminal gangs who never miss an opportunity to inflict suffering and misery on others. Against the wishes of the Democrat-controlled city administration who allowed the riots to happen, Trump visited with a message of support and hope. Biden stayed away until his handlers told him he had to be there. What more does anyone need to know?
Well, now it has transpired that most of the rioters came from out of town, so this has every appearance of a situation manufactured for political gain. The vast majority of the citizens of Kenosha had nothing to do with the destruction of their town. It was a political stunt pulled by people who seek to gain from the resulting destruction and misery. The Dems deplored the outcome, but that was not until after they’d made anti-Trump propaganda of it (the conflict of values here simply cannot be overlooked without inducing cognitive dissonance). The fact that Kenosha county (of which Kenosha is the municipal seat) flipped to Republican in the 2016 presidential vote (having been Democrat for the previous four presidential elections) shows the way the political winds are blowing. Kenosha didn’t have enough home-grown rioters to make this riot big enough for political purposes, so many more had to be brought in from outside. And organized riots do not happen by accident. The Dems own this one. They sat back and let it happen, having fanned the flames of racial unrest. But these riots will do nothing for the Democrats. What they will do is increase support for Trump.
Trump needs a big win come November, not just as president, but in both Houses of Congress. During his first term he did not have sufficient control of the levers of power to do as much as he wanted. Given his out-front and in-your-face style, if Trump does get the victory he seeks he will be on course to become one of the greatest presidents ever.
The way things are going now, the Dems are playing right into his hands.
And they have only themselves to blame.
Round One goes to Trump.
Wen Wryte is the pseudonym of a retired teacher of philosophy who likes a quiet life.
Image: Gage Skidmore