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Is Trump Sowing Chaos for Political Gain?

Sam Taylor

Posted on September 2, 2020 04:20

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A current media trend holds that President Trump is intentionally perpetuating violent protest as a reelection strategy. But does this claim hold up under examination?

On Monday, presidential candidate Joe Biden portrayed his incumbent opponent as "rooting for chaos and violence," an insinuation common among the former's political allies. Indeed, recent months have been suffused with these portrayals, wherein President Trump is rendered a machiavellian demagogue bent on perpetuating violence as a reelection strategy. Though it's indisputable that Trump's political tactics entail a "law and order" stance on rioting, the notion that he actively furthers chaos for political gain, the supposition that he significantly promotes violent protest through divisive commentary, seems to be unfounded. 


Biden and his editorial allies — in addition to some academics — argue that Trump's incessantly provocative tweets sustain the daily riots gripping urban America. By this premise, they conclude that Trump is intentionally fostering division, "sow[ing] chaos," to paint left-wingers as anarchist agitators. But in place of blindly accepting these arguments, let's take a look at what the evidence suggests. 


An analysis by the Associated Press, which has been ardent in disavowing Trump's administration, found that relatively few political extremists (right or left) engaged in the rioting correlated with recent protests. As it turns out, most rioters are local ruffians — taking advantage of the criminal opportunities presented by densely-packed demonstrators and political unrest. Though this analysis is preliminary, it highlights an important fact: it seems most rioters aren’t looting stores and vandalizing property to fight against systemic racism or promote white supremacy, but simply to loot stores and vandalize property. Ergo, the ideological division furthered by Trump's social-media commentary has no more to do with rioting than do the peaceful protests unanimously lauded by left-wing journalists, at least given current evidence. 


But what about this idea that Trump is trying to motivate and subsequently quell riots to bolster his approval ratings? It's unequivocal that the president wants to prove he can maintain order, though the degree to which he's intentionally stoking civil unrest remains utterly unclear — discernable only by reading the incumbent's mind. In essence, we simply don't know Trump's intent, and for journalists and politicians to pretend otherwise, to analyze Trump's oft-idiotic rhetoric with apparent omnipotence, is asinine. 


None of this is to say the president's tweets haven't been unnecessarily controversial, nor that political division hasn't prompted any of the recent violence (for instance, Trump-supporters shot paintballs at BLM protestors just a few days ago). However, it must be said that for the ceaseless demonization of Trump, and the exaggeration of his impact on violent protest, to so thoughtlessly pervade liberal media is either inexcusable deceit or the result of intolerable delusion.

Sam Taylor

Posted on September 2, 2020 04:20

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Source: Daily Mail
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