In 1968, there was much civil unrest and violence: the assassinations of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Sen. Bobby Kennedy, the attempt on Gov. George Wallace and numerous demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Dubbing himself the “law and order” candidate, Republican Richard Nixon won the Presidency.
President Trump is trying the same tactic, but it doesn’t ring true. In 1968, all riots, killings, and demonstrations were occurring in Lyndon Baines Johnson’s America, a Democratic administration that had failed in many ways. Today, we are in Donald Trump’s America, a failed Republican administration. In 2020, America is a country aflame and torn apart.
Trump is trying on this “law and order” costume in an effort to distract voters from the real issues that pervade this country: 186,000 dead from a coronavirus that Trump called a hoax and delayed action on for far too long; a ruined economy with many jobs that won’t come back; ignoring the needs for racial justice; a President stirring up ultra-right groups and vigilantes to create chaos and violence; and so much more.
Of course, distraction is a trick from the Trump playbook, and he hopes voters won’t notice that he doesn’t even have a platform from his convention. A platform, you see, provides policy promises to the electorate.
Consider just two promises Trump made in his last campaign: to strengthen the U.S. military and to build a southern border wall that Mexico would pay for. The first two years of his term he had control of Congress, but he did nothing until he lost control of the House of Representatives. When he couldn’t get funding, he threw a tantrum and started the longest government shutdown in American history. When that didn’t play for him politically, he declared a “national emergency” and plundered the U.S. military budget of billions of dollars for the wall.
The result so far: Of the 1,954-mile border with Mexico, a whopping 307 miles of wall has been built (some before Trump). Two promises broken with a stroke of a pen.
We do not want four more years of broken promises, lies, corruption, abuse of power, and chaos. We do not want to be ruled by whim or the latest conspiracy theory. We do not want a lawless and disorderly President who promotes dissension. We need and want someone else, a real President who will bring us together, not a reality TV actor.