The political landscape of the 2020 election was rocked in early March with the emergence of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The shutdowns and media-inspired hysteria slammed the sky-rocketing Trump economy to a grinding halt.
For a few months, it appeared that COVID-19 would permanently alter the political landscape for 2020 and provide Democrats with an opening – as Trump’s strongest political card, the economy, appeared to become a liability.
Then, thanks to President Trump’s leadership and the ingenuity and tenacity of the American worker, the economy roared back, even in the midst of the pandemic. The economy, which bottomed out in April, began a dramatic recovery in May.
Democrats Need a New Issue to Run On
Suddenly, the Democrats opening on the economy seemed to be slipping away, and with it their chances of capturing the White House, holding the House, and retaking the Senate in November of 2020.
But, just as the economy began to rebound in early June, Democrats would be handed another possible political opening to exploit in the death of George Floyd.
In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death there was an opportunity for the country to come together and have a meaningful and productive conversation about race, police tactics, and reform. The Democrats could have worked with Republicans and with President Trump to pass a package of common sense reforms and begin some much-needed national healing.
Democrats, however, were far more thirsty for political wins in November than they were for substantive policy wins in June. And as the protests grew more violent due to Black Lives Matter and “Antifa” radicals, peaceful protests quickly morphed into violent riots.
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It’s at this moment that Democrats made their Faustian bargain.
Democrats’ Embrace of Black Lives Matter
They made the cold, crass and calculated decision to do nothing to reign in the anarchy and violence, believing that by fomenting racial unrest they would cripple President Trump politically.
Democratic Mayors and Governors ignored their own stay at home orders, disregarded their own social distancing requirements, and generally pretended that protestors were immune to COVID-19.
Democratic politicians in Washington – aided by their allies in the media – continued to insist the protests were peaceful, despite video after video displaying the utter chaos and violence.
Over and over again, the American people were told these were peaceful protests, focused on racial inequality, and that the only way to bring about social justice was to vote for Democrats.
At first, the political gamble seemed like a good one, as President Trump’s approval rating began to dip in June and July, and Joe Biden appeared to be building a large, if not insurmountable lead in the polls.
The Democrats’ bargain with the Black Lives Matter and Antifa forces of violence and anarchy, however, didn’t turn out to be the long term political winner that they had hoped for.
Violence and Rioting Backfires
The problem for Democrats, from the very beginning of this bargain, was that by unleashing and encouraging violence and destruction, they couldn’t hope to contain it. Once the genie was out of the bottle, there was no putting him back in.
The violence has intensified, as major urban areas from Seattle to Portland, Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, and now even others like tiny Kenosha, Wisconsin have been crippled by the nonstop violence.
Indeed, even diners eating outside in our nation’s capital are no longer safe from being harassed, bullied, and attacked by Black Lives Matter/Antifa protestors.
The unchecked violence has spread from urban centers to the suburbs. As the violence spread and intensified, the political winner the Democrats hoped racial unrest would be has begun to swing the other way.
The Biden/Harris ticket got no bounce out of their convention, President Trump’s approval rating has popped to the highest of his Presidency, and even CNN’s Don Lemon has called for the rioting to end because “it’s showing up in the polling.”
“Another factor continuing to help the president’s high approval rating is a rise in crime in our nation’s biggest cities. Unlike a year ago, the president is performing well with voters in large cities. It’s highly likely he is benefiting from the uptick in violence. His law-and-order message is resonating with urban voters at the moment…”
The Democrats failed to make the post-pandemic economy a winner for them and now they have failed to make racial unrest work for them. As we get closer and closer to November, Democrats are going to get more and more desperate as they sense a disappointing repeat of 2016 brewing.
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