Right Opinion

For Trump, Standing Up to the Mob Is Key to Reelection

Guest Commentary · Jul. 2, 2020

By Brett Velicovich

President Trump should stick with his instincts and ignore the advice of the pearl-clutching establishment politicians and pundits who continue to get the core sentiments of the electorate dead wrong.

There are those who believe the president must “tone down the incendiary rhetoric” if he wants to win over the moderate and independent voters necessary for reelection. As usual, they’re completely misreading the facts, especially since the president’s record offers a broad validation of his success for all Americans.

If anything, the temporary dip in Trump’s poll numbers — most of which are based on junk-science polling methodologies — indicates that a wide swath of voters have become concerned that the nation is in danger of descending into economic stagnation and social chaos without the firm and uncompromising leadership of this White House.

Particularly now, there is a growing perception that the COVID-inspired complete economic shutdown was the unnecessary result of ceding too much power to politically motivated “health professionals” whose mandates to close down schools and businesses and the vital importance of social distancing were based on seriously flawed “science.” The organized street violence, looting, and destruction of property that broke out in dozens of American cities amidst mass demonstrations against the arrest and tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, little of which elicited significant concern from Democrats or the media, only reinforced this perception.

When President Trump and Attorney General William Barr finally reasserted government authority by pushing back with force against the mob in front of the White House that had invaded federal buildings, defaced national monuments, set fire to an historic church, and injured scores of federal law-enforcement agents, most Americans breathed a sigh of relief at the belated restoration of order.

The vast majority of black voters, of course, despise rioting and the destruction of property just as much as (or more than) anyone else — their communities, after all, suffer disproportionately from the resulting damage and chaos created by such activity. In assessing the direction and tone his campaign should take in the coming months, President Trump should not underestimate the silent majority — the millions of Americans of all races who are anxious to get the economy back up and running, are enormously concerned about the civil unrest they see spreading across the land, and highly resent the conformity of opinion being foisted on all Americans by the political and media establishments in Washington, DC. It is getting to the point that unless one bends a knee in “solidarity” with groups that despise this country and its entire history, one is called out as a racist oppressor.

Even in this highly charged atmosphere of intimidation, the vast majority of voters know better. Ordinary American citizens want an end to the madness, and they’re desperate for the kind of leadership that will allow them to once again feel comfortable expressing political opinions and to feel safe and free in their own neighborhoods.

Without strong and assertive leadership, however, the spirit of intimidation will continue to hold sway, warping poll results and fueling the lie that the anarchists have public opinion on their side. Citizens whose local leaders are seriously considering the suicidal notion of defunding their police departments can hardly have confidence in the restoration of public order, and in the absence of law and order, it makes a certain amount of sense to pay tribute to the mob.

What Republicans are fighting electorally is analogous to small-shop owners putting Black Lives Matter signs in their window in the hope that the mob will spare them. Unless they have confidence that the government will protect their lives and property, frightened Americans might actually vote for Joe Biden, if only because they think that doing so might fulfill the ransom demands of the violent extremists — as in, “If we vote for Joe and not Orange Man Bad, then will you leave us alone?”

In order to restore American confidence and ensure his own reelection, President Trump should continue to stand for law and order across the land and put responsibility for the riots and looting squarely where it belongs: with the Democratic operatives who are working hand in glove with radical, violent groups such as antifa to dislodge him from office by fomenting social unrest.

Democrats who choose to stand firmly with their new radical base, complete with its anti-American vitriol and its demented demands to defund police forces around the nation, are leaving millions of Americans frightened and unprotected in a time of unprecedented unrest — and creating an enormous opportunity for the strong and assertive leadership of Donald Trump.

The president will win reelection decisively if he sticks with a message of unabashed patriotism and renewed economic opportunity for all Americans — and that means roundly rejecting the misguided advice of establishment politicians and advisors who counsel him to wave the white flag.

Brett Velicovich is a U.S. Army veteran and author of Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies.

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