Since the riots began, Trump administration has moved with molasses-like speed in response to one crisis after another. Whether it was antifa in Portland, statue smashers in Washington D.C., or the creators of CHOP in Seattle, the federal government has typically acted belatedly, if at all, giving the widespread perception that even the most violent rioters are getting away with everything. The result is predictable: Riots have continued, endlessly. The Republican convention has done much to highlight the chaos Democrats have egged on; it cannot highlight President Trump’s role in stopping the chaos, because he has not and does not seem to have seriously tried.
The traditional proverb is that all politics is local. But in 2020, all politics is online. Crucial decisions, affecting tens of millions of ordinary lives, are being made solely as gambits in a high-stakes national election whose battles are being fought on Twitter, YouTube, and cable TV. The actual act of governing has fallen by the wayside as strategist calculate whether it’s worth letting downtown Minneapolis burn, because it will produce viral videos illustrating Democratic incompetence.
One starts to wonder why any of these politicians want to win elections in the first place. The stock answer is ‘power,’ but what power is there in simply hoping one’s side benefits slightly more from uncontrolled chaos?