Joe Biden and the George Floyd riots

Strong and wrong beats weak and right.  [Attributed to Bill Clinton]

A month or two ago, I thought that the Presidential election would be a referendum on President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and that Trump would probably lose.

Now it is shaping up as a referendum on the George Floyd protests, which will work against the Democrats.

The American public may support peaceful protests for just causes.  Looting and revolutionary violence are a different matter.

Reports of major violence are in cities with Democratic mayors and states with Democratic governors—Washington, D.C.; New York City; Chicago; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Minneapolis; Seattle; and Portland, Oregon.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I know of no breakdown in civil order in cities with Republican mayors in states with Republican governors.  And I don’t think this is because white people are more racist in states like Minnesota than we are in states like Texas.

It is ironic and unfair that Joe Biden should get the blame for this.  He has been pro-police and in favor of harsh penalties for crime throughout his political career, as has Kamala Harris.

On the other hand, the Trump administration and right-wing street fighters, some working with the official police, have been adding fuel to the fire.

Some news accounts tell of police attacking peaceful protesters, which I am sure happens.  Other news accounts tell of vandals and looters destroying small businesses, which I am sure also happens.

There is almost no overlap between the two types of reports.  I don’t know what weight to give to each.

Joe Biden upholds the right to peacefully protest, while condemning vandalism, looting and mob violence.

I completely agree with him on that.  But I don’t think either side will accept an even-handed approach that equates themselves with the opposition.  Unfortunately.

LINKS

The Trap the Democrats Walked Right Into by Andrew Sullivan for The Weekly Dish.

One Author’s Argument ‘In Defense of Looting’, an interview of Vicky Osterweil for National Public Radio.

When Violence Is Justified to Defend Civil Society by Tony Woodlief for The American Conservative.

You Know In Your Heart the Day of Real Resistance Is Coming by Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism.

How White Radicals Hijacked Portland’s Protests by Michael Tracey for Unherd.

White Vigilantes Have Always Had a Friend in Police by Christopher Matthias for HuffPost.

Joe Biden Whispers the Riot Act, Sort Of by Rod Dreher for The American Conservative.

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3 Responses to “Joe Biden and the George Floyd riots”

  1. Nikolai Vladivostok Says:

    My views differ in some respects, but I’m relieved that at least some people on the left remain moderate and balanced. Elsewhere, there’s a new book out justifying looting, and there were cheers for the killing of a conservative in Portland.
    For that matter, the right should not support young civilians turning up to supervise rallies with rifles. That was only ever going to end one way

    Like

  2. whungerford Says:

    The quote at the top rings true, but it isn’t clear that DJT is perceived as strong or Joe Biden as weak. Clearly Biden must not leave an impression that he is.

    Like

  3. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    We have people declaring that looting is ok. It is just the mellow expropriation of property from the wealthy to the poor. And rioting is just a temporary suspension of the laws where people can express their feelings and if a few building burn its a small price to pay.

    This is hate as surely as a Klansman burning a cross. But our hate is okay because we give it a different name and it is against people we don’t like. It is ok to do wrong to people because somewhere in the past wrong was done to us. Obviously two wrongs make a right.

    I’m sure the employees of the stores that are now closed – or even burnt down – really appreciate the favor of being unemployed.

    I’m not a right wing anything. But I can easily understand there are people on the other side of things who have drunk a slightly different Kool Aide and will move to the opposite extreme. they will arm themselves and form up militias and vigilante groups. it is as inevitable as night and day. During the Rodney King riots I heard it said that video coverage of Korean merchants defending their businesses with firearms set the cause of gun control back 20 years.

    I rather think those merchants did the right thing.

    The far left likes the violence of the riots because it provokes the far right to violence. They know the media will focus on the militia kooks much more than the local CVS Pharmacy having its windows broken and shelves emptied, even those the latter is more common than the former.

    Every Bell curve has two tails. In a situation like this it is inevitable the tails will behave irresponsible. It is possible for extreme behavior by the tails to neutralize all the meaningful activity in the middle through the antagonism it provokes.

    Liked by 1 person

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