Op-Ed

Bob Ehrlich: If Gun Sales Are Any Indicator, Race Rioters Are Creating New Trump Voters as We Speak

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A couple of recent news reports have caught my eye.

Each speculated (with some anecdotal supporting evidence) that a sampling of voters in deep-blue cities hard-hit by riots, looting and property damage are showing signs of “enough,” that the combination of anarchy in the streets and cuts to law enforcement is reframing opinions shared by those who have never seen a MAGA hat in person — let alone thought of voting for a Republican.

A related but not coincidental storyline is of an enormous uptick in gun purchases in our most liberal cities.

A pause is appropriate here.

These news items do not mean that thousands of latte-loving, anti-plastic straw drinking, Prius-driving urbanites have suddenly become card-carrying Republicans. It does not mean they have a newfound appreciation for President Donald J. Trump.

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Indeed, their devotion to windmills, health care for illegal aliens, and “woke” learning in the public schools is likely not much altered.

What is novel may be a renewed appreciation for the difference between the sacred American right to protest and the illegal, dangerous and terrorizing acts of a mob.

So many of these good folks have now experienced the difference: from the legitimate protests in the wake of George’s Floyd’s death to the unreconstructed violence of street thugs who have brought widespread destruction to the most beautiful of our urban business districts and neighborhoods.

In a word, they didn’t sign up for this.

Do you think residents of Democrat-run cities like Chicago have "had enough"?

There is of course nothing surprising here.

The old line about a “conservative is nothing more than a liberal who has been mugged” applies. Who in their right mind could support “protesters” who attempt to destroy a Ronald McDonald House occupied by terribly sick children and terrified parents?

Who does that sort of thing? Certainly not those who wish to participate in a national conversation about law enforcement practices in the inner city.

But there is another aspect to some of the media reports, and it has to do with these impacted liberals taking a second look at how their chosen party has responded to all the civil unrest.

Recall these burning cities have been led by Democrats for half a century or more. Most have all Democratic councils. Republicans often fail to offer even token opposition.

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It’s one-party rule. Straight blue. No questions asked.

Nevertheless, the mayors and elected prosecutors in these cities have demonstrated a stunning level of indulgence vis-à-vis the criminal element.

Without a doubt, the “most pitiful” award goes to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who famously speculated that a six-block breakaway “republic” in the middle of Seattle could experience another “summer of love.” A couple of murders (and mounting nationwide scorn) ended that imbecilic experiment.

A close second in perfidy is Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who was most perturbed by the presence of federal police agents assigned to protect federal property in his city — but not so upset at the nightly rioting and property damage inflicted by “mostly peaceful” protesters who have brought chaos to his city for nearly 90 straight nights.

In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s patience finally wore thin when a large mob showed up at her home. Still, the out-of-control gun violence and murderous mayhem continues unabated on the streets of America’s “Second City.”

Imagine being the president of the chamber of commerce in that godforsaken town today!

But what of condemnation from national Democratic leaders? What indictments about the riots have issued out of Joe Biden’s presidential basement bunker?

The answer, of course, is (primarily) … crickets.

Speaker Pelosi and numerous other Democratic leaders have voiced strong opposition to federal agents using tear gas to protect … federal property in Portland.

The presence of federal agents in riot-torn cities is peddled as a Trump administration tactic to generate public support for a “law & order” campaign.

The Biden campaign has adopted a similar line. Pronouncements in support of law enforcement have been few and far between from this crowd.

Only by 2020 standards is this normal politics.

It’s as though national Democrats perceive little risk in hanging law enforcement out to dry.

It’s as though they either fail or do not wish to understand that even CNN viewers desire a return to normalcy, to safe streets, to peaceful protests that respect the rule of law.

That some of these reliably left Democratic voters are asking whether that is expecting too much in this summer of discontent is not a positive development for the Biden-Harris ticket.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Robert Ehrlich is a former governor of Maryland as well as a former United States congressman and state legislator. He is the author of “Bet You Didn’t See That One Coming: Obama, Trump, and the End of Washington’s Regular Order,” in addition to “Turn This Car Around,” “America: Hope for Change" and “Turning Point.” Ehrlich is currently a counsel at the firm of King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.




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