No Law And No Order

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Most of what Trump has said and done in the past several months has been an attempt to re-frame the 2020 presidential election around "law and order" rather than his own failed record, but that does not appear to be working.

You may have noticed that presidential polling has been relatively stable for months even after both parties hosted their conventions and a new poll shows only 13 percent of the public is buying what Trump is selling.

These are really bad numbers among Trump's own core base of support.

Over half of the country -- 55% -- in the new poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' Knowledge Panel, said they think Trump is aggravating the situation, while just over one in 10 Americans, 13%, said they think he is making it better. Fewer than one-third, 29%, believe what Trump has said on the topic has had no effect on the protests over racial injustice.

Among his base, 30% of Republicans say the president is improving the situation, compared to 26% who say he's having an adverse impact. Only 18% of white, non-college educated Americans, another core constituency for the president, believe he is having a positive effect on the protests, while 41% view his comments on the demonstrations amid the debate over racial equality as having a negative influence.

That's surprisingly bad.

Trump's problem here is that "law and order" has not worked the way he thinks it will since the Nixon administration.

Trump has warned "suburban housewives" that Joe Biden will unleash Senator Cory Booker as the next housing secretary to -- I don't know -- push young black men into their streets to rob them, or something, but Trump chose the least threatening villain of all time.

Cory Booker is a harmless vegan with the same energy as a neighborhood milkman, but he's black and that makes him a worthy boogeyman from Trump's point of view.

The suburbs of today do not look like suburbs did the last time Trump's "law and order" message actually resonated among white suburbanites enough to matter. Black people and other minorities already live in suburbs in the year 2020 because it's the only place many of us can afford to live. Trump's federal rent-a-thugs directed by the likes of Attorney General Bill Barr and DHS Secretary Chad Wolf are far more frightening to me than my black and Hispanic neighbors who aren't frightening at all. Just seeing a cop outside my building makes me nervous. My neighbors don't.

Trump's own image as a raucous showman also probably limits the effect his message could ever have because everyone know he lives to stir shit, not clean it up. Making things worse is his thing.

  • 1933john

    Let’s try Willie Horton all over again?

  • muselet

    What Donald Trump and his brain trust seem not to understand is that Richard Nixon was not the incumbent president when he used Lawnorder! as the big dogwhistle of his campaign in 1968.

    It doesn’t work if you’re already in charge.

    It especially doesn’t work if your ooh, scary! bogeyman is Cory Booker, who famously shoveled a neighbor’s driveway while flashing his 10,000-watt smile. That’s like running against hugs and kittens.

    I just hope those poll numbers hold until November 3.


    • katanahamon

      I’m scared it won’t matter if ballots get tossed, disqualified, or not counted due to mistakes, cheating or Right wing court decisions..the damage done to America so far can’t possibly be fixed in four years, and four more years of Rump (which will be far worse, far, far worse since he will first be emboldened and not caring about reelection, not to mention fully senile) will doom us.

      • muselet

        I’m right there with you.

        That’s why I keep saying, “Vote in November as if your life depends on it (it does).”


    • Christopher Foxx

      That’s like running against hugs and kittens.

      True. But all Trump and his base see is that they are black hugs and kittens. So they must be scary, right?

      • Big Rick

        Democrats owned slaves, started a war to keep them, voted against civil rights, created the KKK and is the party of Jim Crow and LBJ.

        • Christopher Foxx

          “Democrats owned slaves”

          Yes. 160 years ago. And the Civil Rights act was over a half century ago. A person with a reasonable argument wouldn’t have to reach back that long for examples.

          The parties changed over the course of the past century. How about we deal with the here and now when it’s Republicans who are fighting tooth and nail against anything that would actually help people?

  • katanahamon

    I don’t think the Fraternal order of police knuckleheads did themselves any favors by endorsing Rump. After these last nine to twelve months, I view the police completely differently. All those “Cops” shows I now see in a new light. Copaganda. It’s not just “a few bad apples,” it’s a systemic problem that has attracted all the right wing wackos, small men that want a gun and a license to kill. After this police union decision, I’ve lost any respect for them.