Is this the week the Democrats lost the election?

I’ve been wrong on most electoral predictions I’ve made, so I’ve been avoiding predicting this one. Trump is behind in the polls but the polls were worse for him last time around. Trump had a small but enthusiastic core, Biden an army of Trump-haters.

Then came the limp Democratic convention and the confident Republican one, and then yet another round of riots, this time in a small Midwestern city, and it feels like something just broke. I’ve been joking with friends about the upcoming Biden presidency but after this week that just isn’t going to happen. Trump and the Republicans have – not unfairly – characterized the Democrats as being riot enablers and it seems the label has finally stuck.

Trump boosters like to point out that around the country there are very few Biden signs and a lot of Trump signs. I would always tell them to stop counting Biden signs and to start counting BLM signs. Now that BLM is becoming associated with arson and looting those signs can’t be generating much excitement.

It takes a long time for a city to recover from riots: people with money can always move out, taking their taxes with them. Baltimore and Detroit never recovered from the race riots of the 60s and 70s. Indicators that people are afraid of riots: urban real-estate prices dropping, suburban prices rising, and first time gun permit issues soaring.

I’ve been wondering why Democrats thought they could ride the tiger of arson and looting to electoral success and it now seems they have begun to snap out of it with some mealy-mouthed condemnations. It is probably too late. I now expect another 4 years of game-show host governance.

But I’ve been wrong before.


  1. Billy Jack · · Reply

    I am baffled by the response of Democratic mayors and governors to the riots. It is not only indefensible but also makes no sense in terms of self-interest. The Democrats should win easily; but it is like they are determined to lose this election, and if they have burn half the cities to do it, so be it.

    Maybe they think that enabling riots is a path to victory. But could also be progressive guilt: that they think that the causes of the riots are legitimate grievances against a system that they are a part of and responsible for, and that to use the power of the state against these rioters would therefore be illegitimate and tyrannical. I’ve known teachers who are uneasy about authority to begin with and also blame themselves for their students’ misbehavior so they don’t really stop it; then stuff sort of spirals. It could be a similar thing here. That sounds crazy, yes, but the idea that letting people burn cities is going to be popular is pretty crazy too. Any thoughts? I am asking this stuff because it is weird and I don’t know the answer.

    Obviously if they do feel that way, they should get out of politics. There’s nothing wrong with deciding that you can’t be part of a certain power structure without damage to your soul and opting out. There’s something wrong with seeking positions of authority and then not following through on your most basic obligations.

    1. I think your point about progressive guilt is right on, it paralyzes them.

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