Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden said in a Monday speech in Pittsburgh that if Trump wins reelection, the violence that has rocked the nation’s streets will not stop.
In a counter-message to President Donald Trump’s “law and order” in the wake of protest-related unrest, Biden accused Trump, whom he called “an incumbent president who sows chaos,” of seeking to “instill fear in America,” while claiming that Trump’s second term would see more violence roil the nation’s streets.
“Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” Biden said in his speech. “He can’t stop the violence, because for years he has fomented it,” Biden added, denouncing Trump’s tough-on-crime messaging as lip service and accusing the president of failing “to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country.”
Cities across America erupted in protest after the police custody death of George Floyd and, in many cases, these then exploded into violence. Biden, in his remarks, echoed the rhetoric of other Democrats in seeking to blame Trump for the unrest, while Trump and the Republicans have highlighted the protest-related violence as examples of what the country would look like under a Biden administration.
Trump’s tone amid the unrest has been one of expressing sympathy for victims of police brutality while striking a tough, “law and order” stance, expressing support for law enforcement, and vowing to protect the victims of riots, which have resulted in businesses large and small set ablaze and devastated by looting. He recently argued that Biden in the White House would undercut public safety.
“No one will be safe in Biden’s America. My administration will always stand with the men and women of law enforcement,” Trump said at his Republican nomination acceptance speech last week, blaming local Democrat politicians for inaction in the face of riots.
“In the strongest possible terms, the Republican Party condemns the rioting, looting, arson, and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities all, like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago, and New York and many others, Democrat run,” Trump said.
“There’s violence and danger in the streets of many Democrat-run cities throughout America. This problem could easily be fixed if they wanted to. Just call, we’re ready to go in,” he added, referring to his repeated offers to send in federal officers to help quell street violence, an offer often rejected on the premise that this would provoke an escalation.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, rejected the notion that the Trump administration was to blame for the recent unrest. He said local and state Democrat officials were responsible for the violence in Wisconsin and Oregon, after federal assistance was refused, while insisting that most of the country under Trump is safe. After a shooting left two people dead and one wounded in Kenosha, authorities accepted federal help.
“These are people that every single night conduct violent acts, and it is in Democrat cities,” he said. “Most of Donald Trump’s America is peaceful,” he added.
“It is a Democrat-led city in Portland that we’re talking about this morning, who just yesterday denied help once again from the federal government,” Meadows said, referring to news of an incident in the city on Saturday that resulted in a man being shot dead as groups of protesters clashed.
Trump, at his RNC speech, also accused Biden of seeking to cut funding to police departments, saying “the most dangerous aspect of the Biden platform is the attack on public safety.”
Biden, in his Pittsburgh remarks, sought to challenge Trump’s characterization of him as soft on crime.
“The senseless violence of looting, and burning, and destruction of property—I want to make it absolutely clear, something very clear about all of this—rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting, setting fires is not protesting,” he said. “None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those that do it, should be prosecuted.”
While some claim systemic racism and police brutality are driving the unrest, author and Epoch Times contributor Trevor Loudon, a specialist in radical and terrorist movements, argued in a recent op-ed that there is more to the riots than meets the eye.
“Some leftists are claiming, as they did during the Occupy Wall Street movement, that the protests have been hijacked by a violent element intent on discrediting the movement,” Loudon wrote. “Conservative commentators, on the other hand, speak of frustration and rage, of a reaction to the claustrophobia of weeks on end of lock-down.
“They all miss the mark,” he said. “The violence since the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis is a communist inspired ins….