It’s hard to keep up with the changing scare tactics.
Four years ago it was illegal immigrants and Muslims who were threatening our very existence.
Today it’s antifa, BLM protesters, and looters.
Anything to distract from COVID and unemployment, I guess, and from the nonexistent border wall and the various Trump associates behind bars.
The shifting array of bogeymen reminds me of Orwell’s 1984.
Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil.
Trump rhetoric about imposing law and order ignores the fact that he has been in power for four years. It does not speak well of a sitting president, for example, that he cannot guarantee free and fair elections, peaceful streets, or public health.
At least when Richard Nixon ran on “law and order” in 1968, he was doing so as a challenger, not an incumbent. There was logic in arguing, This current situation is disastrous and chaotic, I’ll get it under control.
The argument makes less sense when you’ve been in office for four years, have controlled the Senate for those same four years and the House for two.
The question for voters now is the one posed 40 years ago by Ronald Reagan in his battle against incumbent Jimmy Carter.
Are you better off today than you were four years ago?
Trump’s head-scratching inaugural address four years ago about ‘American carnage’ doesn’t seem like a head-scratcher now. It looks prescient. He seems to have manifested the chaos he envisioned.
Trump stokes division at every opportunity on the theory it improves his re-election chances. The long hot summer of riots has been a godsend. It takes airtime from his COVID failures, and energizes his base.