Trump claims Bi­den cod­dles crim­i­nals. Bi­den needs an an­swer

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION - LAURA WASH­ING­TON lauraswash­ing­ | @Me­di­aDervish

Joe Bi­den and his part­ners in crime are com­ing for you, Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump darkly warned Thurs­day as he ac­cepted the 2020 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

The for­mer vice pres­i­dent and Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee is ig­nor­ing the vi­o­lence rock­ing Amer­i­can cities, Trump claims.

“When there is po­lice mis­con­duct, the jus­tice sys­tem must hold wrong­do­ers fully and com­pletely ac­count­able, and it will. But what we can never have in Amer­ica — and must never al­low — is mob rule,” he warned in his speech on the White House lawn. “In the strong­est pos­si­ble terms, the Repub­li­can Party con­demns the ri­ot­ing, loot­ing, ar­son and vi­o­lence we have seen in Demo­crat-run cities like Kenosha, Min­neapo­lis, Port­land, Chicago and New York.”

The claim that Bi­den is cod­dling crim­i­nals will be a cen­ter­piece of Trump’s fall cam­paign.

“This elec­tion will de­cide whether we will de­fend the Amer­i­can way of life, or whether we al­low a rad­i­cal move­ment to com­pletely dis­man­tle and de­stroy it,” Trump ex­horted.

Cities na­tion­wide have been gal­va­nized by peace­ful protests this sum­mer, led by Black Lives Mat­ter and other so­cial jus­tice groups that de­mand eq­uity.

Those are noble ef­forts. They could back­fire.

Chicago’s protests have been marred by two rounds of de­struc­tive loot­ing and street vi­o­lence this year. Up the road in Kenosha, protests of the po­lice shoot­ing of Ja­cob Blake were cou­pled with loot­ing, van­dal­ism and gun vi­o­lence.

Bi­den is pre­sid­ing over a wob­bly bal­anc­ing act. Democrats are cham­pi­oning the call for racial jus­tice while eschew­ing the vi­o­lence. They ac­cuse Trump of ex­ploit­ing th­ese tur­bu­lent times with a cyn­i­cal law-and-or­der ap­peal to win the White House.

Democrats can­not let Amer­ica’s march to jus­tice be hi­jacked by an­ar­chists, thugs, op­por­tunists and vig­i­lantes.

The Novem­ber elec­tion will turn on small slices of the vote in a few swing states. Vot­ers may be tired of Trump’s ly­ing in­com­pe­tence, but even more wary of cities reel­ing out of con­trol.

In the swing state of Wis­con­sin, a series of polls by Mar­quette Law School sug­gest pub­lic sup­port for the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and its causes may be eb­bing.

In a June poll, 59% of re­spon­dents said they ap­proved of Black Lives Mat­ter, while 27% dis­ap­proved. In a sur­vey con­ducted Aug. 4-9, only 49% ap­proved of BLM, com­pared with 37% who viewed it un­fa­vor­ably.

The 24-7 cov­er­age of an­ar­chy in our streets plays right into Trump’s hands.

On Aug. 26, jour­nal­ist Dy­lan Bro­gan posted a video on Twit­ter that dis­played the af­ter­math of loot­ing in Madi­son, Wis­con­sin, which also saw protests over the Blake shoot­ing.

It de­picted the win­dow of a Papa John’s pizza store­front smashed to smithereen­s. A man who ap­pears to be an em­ployee leans out over piles of shat­tered glass and yells at protesters, “Do you want Trump to be re­elected? Are they try­ing to get Trump re­elected?”

“Se­ri­ously, I got a fam­ily to sup­port,” he cries.

Trump is talk­ing to him. He is speak­ing to all the work­ers, busi­ness own­ers, city and sub­ur­ban dwellers who are ter­ri­fied of los­ing their liveli­hoods and lives to bot­tle-throw­ing thugs and thiev­ing loot­ers.

He is talk­ing to sub­ur­ban women who may em­brace racial jus­tice from be­hind their picket fences but will won­der: Will Joe Bi­den pro­tect me and my chil­dren from the crim­i­nals who could in­vade my own back yard?

So far, Bi­den and Co. don’t have much of an an­swer.



Peo­ple watch a used-car lot burn Aug. 24 in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin.

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