All five of the Democratic governors named above have ostensibly activated the National Guard in their states. Yet, it’s obvious that they don’t intend to deploy the troops in any meaningful way. States with GOP governors such as Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah have deployed their troops effectively. Among the states with Democratic governors, the activation has been largely a matter of public relations. In fact, when Secretary of Defense Mark Esper requested National Guard assistance from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to protect various national monuments in the District of Columbia, Gov. Northam refused. Esper then turned to Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan (R), who agreed to send the requested troops.
So, what about that silent majority? The Morning Consult poll noted above makes it clear that they want order restored. This, along with a fast economic recovery, is precisely what the president has pledged. Meanwhile, Trump’s likely general election opponent maunders about systemic racism while struggling to keep his figures straight concerning how many lives and jobs have been lost to the pandemic. As former Clinton pollster Doug Schoen writes, “The political risk to Democrats is becoming associated with the riots … which would result in the party losing the White House and risking their House majority.” The Democrats already own the riots, and the silent majority is quietly counting the days to November 3.