Trump’s des­per­ate for new ‘wall,’ but he won’t find it in Chicago

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION -

Crime in Chicago is Don­ald Trump’s new bor­der wall. Facts and truth didn’t mat­ter a whit to Trump four years ago when he stoked fears about hordes of rapists and mur­der­ers pour­ing over the bor­der from Mex­ico to de­stroy Amer­ica.

He thought “the wall” might help him win him an elec­tion — and it did. Fear sells.

Now Trump is at it again, this time stok­ing fears about outof-con­trol crime by thugs and rad­i­cals in Chicago and other big cities. He’s throw­ing it out there and hop­ing it sticks, if just long enough to get him re­elected on Nov. 3.

Please, vot­ers, don’t let him get away with this again.


Chicago’s got a se­ri­ous vi­o­lent crime prob­lem, no doubt. But Trump’s not out to fix it any­more than he was out to fix our na­tion’s im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem. He’s out to use it for pure po­lit­i­cal gain, hop­ing to scare you into vot­ing for him and fascism-lite.

Trump is not the first Amer­i­can pres­i­dent to prey on our fears to di­vide us, pit­ting small towns and the sub­urbs against big cities, but he might be the first to overtly re­veal his en­tirely cyn­i­cal in­ten­tions.

Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon loved to rail about “law and or­der,” go­ing on about loot­ers in the streets and “bums” on col­lege cam­pus.

But leave it to Trump to pin it all on “rad­i­cal left” Democrats and claim Joe Bi­den — Joe Bi­den! — would “let ter­ror­ists roam free.”

“Look at what’s go­ing on — all run by Democrats, all run by very lib­eral Democrats. All run, re­ally, by rad­i­cal left,” Trump said on Mon­day, de­scrib­ing Chicago and other big cities as out of con­trol. “If Bi­den got in, that would be true for the coun­try. The whole coun­try would go to hell. And we’re not go­ing to let it go to hell.”

Fed­eral agents com­ing to town?

This week, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­posed send­ing about 150 fed­eral agents to Chicago. Was their plan to throw peo­ple into un­marked vans, as they have done to pro­test­ers in Port­land, Ore­gon, like the old East Ger­man se­cret po­lice?

The joke is that no­body — cer­tainly not Trump — has a clue as to how a bunch of Home­land Se­cu­rity agents, who might not know En­gle­wood from Edi­son Park, are sup­posed to stop an 18-year-old gang­banger from shoot­ing up a porch full of peo­ple.

The big­ger joke is that Trump doesn’t care. So long as he suc­ceeds in whip­ping up fears about ur­ban crime. So long as he can shake up those sub­ur­ban moms whose sup­port he needs on Elec­tion Day.

So long as he can make this ugly plot line stick.

On Tues­day, Mayor Lori Light­foot, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state At­tor­ney Gen­eral Kwame Raoul were try­ing to keep their fo­cus on fight­ing crime, not play­ing pol­i­tics. Light­foot had spo­ken with John Lausch, the top fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor in Chicago, about craft­ing a rea­son­able plan to use fed­eral re­sources to help our city.

“What I un­der­stand at this point — and I caveat that — is that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is not go­ing to fool­ishly de­ploy un­named agents to the streets of Chicago,” the mayor said. “As I un­der­stand it, what we will be get­ting are some ad­di­tional re­sources in the FBI, the DEA and the ATF.”

Look­ing for a new ‘wall’

Trump is drown­ing in the polls, done in by his pa­thetic han­dling of the COVID-19 pan­demic and three years of over­whelm­ing mean­ness, de­ceit and in­com­pe­tence. He’s look­ing for a fresh new “wall,” some­thing on which he can hitch a last-minute ride to elec­tion vic­tory, and he thinks this “law and or­der” thing might be it.

He tried to politi­cize the pan­demic, but re­open­ing the econ­omy led to a lot more peo­ple in­con­ve­niently dy­ing. He tried to politi­cize re­li­gion by hold­ing up a Bi­ble out­side a shut­tered church, but Trump with a Bi­ble just looked weird. He has tried to politi­cize race re­la­tions again and again, most re­cently by go­ing to bat for the Con­fed­er­ate flag, tone deaf to the fact that even a ma­jor­ity of South­ern­ers now think the flag is racist.

And, of course, Trump keeps bash­ing im­mi­grants, though that game’s run­ning on fumes.

On Tues­day, Trump or­dered that un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants not be counted in the U.S. Cen­sus, though the ex­press pur­pose of the Cen­sus is to count ev­ery hu­man be­ing in the coun­try.

We doubt Trump can win on law and or­der, ei­ther. It’s not go­ing to stick. On the most ba­sic level, we dare to be­lieve, enough Amer­i­cans are fi­nally just sick of this guy.

In re­cent weeks, Trump has tweeted the words “LAW AND OR­DER!” more than 20 times, but all he’s man­aged to do is drive down his poll num­bers even more.

A poll re­leased Sun­day by The Washington Post and ABC News shows Bi­den lead­ing Trump by 15 per­cent­age points. On the ques­tion of who can be trusted more when it comes to “crime and safety,” reg­is­tered vot­ers picked Bi­den by a nine-point mar­gin, 50% to 41%.

Chil­dren think profession­al wrestling is for real, but in time they grow up.

The thrill of the car­toon strong­man is gone.


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