Five Things You Need to Read Today
1. Little Green Men
Down in the polls by ten points, Donald Trump has clearly decided to run on a “law and order” platform, billing himself as the antidote to chaos.
It’s not a bad strategy, given the riots in the early weeks of the “Black Lives Matter” protests and the spike in crime that has resulted from the delegitimizing and demoralizing of the police. But there are several big problems with it.
First, as I’ve been pointing out, if this issue were going to break Trump’s way, that probably would have shown up in the polls by this point. Now that the rioting is over in all but a few cities—generally places like Portland, where low-level rioting by leftists is a local institution (more on that below)—it’s not likely to yield as much political advantage.
Second and more important, there is the reason why the rioting hasn’t helped him so far. On the very largest issue of the day, the coronavirus pandemic, Trump’s leadership has already been weighed and found wanting. A politician can’t just decide to dodge the number one issue and pick something he’d rather campaign on.
(The latest: After insisting that the Republican Party was going to bravely resist the hysteria and hold its convention in Florida, which we all knew was never going to happen, Trump had to cancel it as coronavirus cases spike there.)
Last but not least is the fact that Trump has a long track record of taking a legitimate cause and a winning political issue and executing it in exactly the wrong way.
Consider the way he’s going about his “law and order” campaign: sending masked, armed, camouflaged Department of Homeland Security police and deploying them in American cities, where they have been roaming the streets without any identifying marks and in unmarked cars, making arrests that are probably unconstitutional—all in defiance of the wishes of state governors and mayors.
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