If the Democrats were shrewd, they would see this as a potential weak spot in their campaign. They would do their best to show they are not the party of street violence; that ruining urban life is not acceptable, especially not under the banner of racial justice. Joe Biden would not just talk vaguely about how he could restore ‘the soul of America’. Instead he would condemn the protests and add that Donald Trump is the President who talks about law-and-order, while bringing chaos. But he won’t and so far he isn’t. Biden has tweeted that ‘today we woke to grieve’, a rather odd phrase, especially since the victim is still alive. Grieving for America, perhaps. Kamala Harris predictably doubled down by saying that officers ‘must be held accountable’. Both called for an investigation. Neither said looting or arson were inappropriate responses to the incident.

Maybe the Democrats are not that smart. Their real genius is for self-destruction. This is the party that brought you three years of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories; that impeached the President for investigating the potential corruption of the man they have now nominated to be president; that turned Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court into a cynical psychodrama. This is the party that, four years ago, had a much better approval ratings than the Republican party, but which is now almost as despised by the public.