Two forces are colliding in 2020. One has no idea what it wants. The other is crystal clear.
Let’s start with Donald Trump, running for reelection as president of the United States. His answer on why he wants a second term has been, charitably, non-existent.
Here was Trump’s first swing at it, with Fox News host Sean Hannity:
“Well one of the things that will be really great: You know, the word ‘experience’ is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience, I’ve always said that. But the word ‘experience’ is a very important word. It’s a very important meaning. I never did this before, I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington, I think, 17 times, all of a sudden I’m president of the United States, you know the story. I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our first lady and I say, ‘This is great.’ But I didn’t know very many people in Washington, it wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now I know everybody.”
Given a mulligan by Sinclair TV host Eric Bolling a few days later, Trump whiffed again in a rambling response that lacked a cogent argument like “I fixed the economy once, and I’ll save it again.”
Trump ran on real things in 2016, namely how the political elite had left American workers behind on immigration and trade. He promised lower taxes, conservative judges and pro-life policies. He railed against political correctness run amuck, appealing to Republicans and blue-collar Democrats alike.
Unfortunately, the president has yet to formulate a similarly insightful argument for a second term as he struggles to manage the twin crises of coronavirus and social unrest. His speech at Mt. Rushmore — hammering the leftists attempting to erase America’s history (and its future) before our very eyes — was an improvement, despite what you heard from the homogeneous national political press that is dedicated to Trump’s destruction.
But Trump — behind in his reelection and threatening to take the Republican Senate down with him — must now carry his argument forward by characterizing today’s rope-pullers as tomorrow’s policymakers in a Joe Biden administration. If you are worried about economic upheaval today, wait until the mob oversees Biden’s policy shop.
Anarchists, radical leftists, Democratic Party leaders, and their cheerleaders and apologists in the press cannot control or hide what is happening. It’s just the Confederate statues, they tell us, as Christopher Columbus sinks in a Baltimore harbor. It isn’t about disrespecting America, just ending police brutality, they claim.
Except that the spiritual leader of the other colliding force — Colin Kaepernick — released a video over the weekend calling the Fourth of July a “celebration of white supremacy.” There’s no other way to interpret his argument — the American experiment is built on an evil foundation and must be erased.
Apparently, top Democrats were listening. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth — a leading contender to become Biden’s running mate — said on Sunday we ought to consider removing statues of George Washington and raised the specter of doing away with Mt. Rushmore altogether. She said Trump spent all his time “talking about dead traitors” this weekend, despite the fact that his speech was entirely about the Founding Fathers and other American heroes.
The guru says “jump!” and his followers shout “how high!”
Prominent Democratic operatives started this nonsense last summer by pushing to label all Trump voters as racist. Now, they bless an all-out assault on a core tenet of American political discourse — that we are all in this together — by arguing that not only are Trump and his supporters racist but that celebrating America’s founding means you endorse white supremacy.
Kaepernick’s cult knows exactly what it wants: to cancel its political opposition and then delegitimize the American story as we have always known it. They seek radical policy changes that can only be accomplished by removing the democratic guardrails of separation of powers and the protection of minority party rights in the legislative branch.
Senate Democrats are signaling they will end the legislative filibuster if they gain control, effectively surrendering to the most extreme elements of the American left (they already run the House under Nancy Pelosi). Combine this change with a newfound taste for emergency powers exercised in the name of the coronavirus, and you can see how the left’s wildest and most radical dreams could come true in short order.
What does America look like when Republicans no longer have the procedural tools to save the country from extremism? Turn on your television. The people destroying American cities and public property — and the petrified, enabling Democrats too weak to stop them — will have your future in their hands.
Scott Jennings is a Republican adviser, CNN and Courier-Journal political contributor, and partner at RunSwitch Public Relations. He is a 1996 graduate of Dawson Springs High School.