A Silent Strategy for the President Will Spur the Silent (and Sane) Majority

Possibly by accident, there are preliminary signs, green shoots, that the president is by experimentation moving toward the campaign strategy most appropriate for the summer. It is Donald Trump, even more than Joe Biden, who should be practically silent. Because the looming presidential nominee of the Democrats is completely unfeasible, inarticulate, and incoherent, the Democratic campaign consists essentially in round-the-clock mudslinging from the 90 percent of the national political media that hates Trump and will do anything, no matter how unprofessional, to remove him. 

Notoriously, it is to this contemptible level that the principal American media have descended. The Trump campaign will continue to have his words and actions distorted, misrepresented and hurled back at him by serried ranks of bloodless assassins in the press. He should leave the refutation of them to his very able press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, who dispensed in short order this week the CNN White House reporter who asked last week if President Trump was pleased the North won the Civil War. 

The president should follow Napoleon’s maxim not to interrupt the enemy when he is in the process of making a mistake. Every day the Democrats reveal more clearly the extent to which they are relying on the coronavirus and the white-hating mobs to make their campaign for them. They are desperate to magnify the marginally relevant spread of COVID-19 by people with almost no chance of dying from it while the incidence of fatalities declines. They are desperate to appease and to make respectable Black Lives Matter (BLM), which was set up as a white-hating legion of urban guerrillas and is obligingly overt in their threat formulated by their leader in New York, Hawk Newsome, “to burn down this system.”

The quieter the president is, the harder it will be for the Trump-haters in the media to misconstrue anything he says. And without a Trump tweet or an indiscreet aside to magnify every day, the nature of the opposition to Trump will become more shrill and alarming to the sane majority of Americans. Black Lives Matter is unexceptionable as a statement. In fact it is a truism and a platitude. It’s leaders, however, do not accept the proposition that all lives matter, so the name of the organization is not inclusive but discriminatory. BLM seized upon the apparent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, piggybacked on the appalled and sincere wave of revulsion that followed, and translated itself into widespread peaceful protest.From this platform,it proceeded to vandalize and pillage dozens of cities, killing and injuring hundreds of people, causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage. 

The corrupt Democratic municipal political machines folded like three-dollar suitcases before the extremists, the latest shameful capitulation being the reduction of the New York City police budget by $1 billion even as violent crime and murders skyrocket. Mayor Bill de Blasio is an almost incomprehensibly cowardly and inept successor to Ed Koch, Rudolph Giuliani, and Michael Bloomberg. 

In Chicago, the Democratic bosses have ruled with wanton avarice, though intermittent executive competence, for over 90 years, and unheard-of levels of violence and murder have recently been achieved. Whole districts are police no-go areas, and there is little attempt even to prosecute most murders. Mayor Lori Lightfoot replied to the president: “I will code what I want to say [to Trump] and it starts with F and ends with U.” The integrity of Chicago prosecutors was well illustrated by the shameful fiasco of the Jesse Smollett affair. The city of Carl Sandburg, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ernest Hemingway, Clarence Darrow, and many other great cultural and civic figures in America’s history effectively has been taken over by an ethos closer to the tradition of Chicagoan Al Capone. At least he was apolitical, having been created effectively by the national madness of Prohibition. There was an excuse for him; there is no excuse for the mob rule in Chicago today.

When the president points out the dangerous implications of trying to retard economic recovery by spurious mis-projections of COVID deaths, and of placating and deferring to the BLM and Antifa hooligans and racists, he invites debate with the defamatory myth-makers of the national political media. And it must be emphasized that he has complemented the efforts of his enemies with self-inflicted wounds. 

It is hard to imagine what possessed him to say and to repeat that he wished to slow the testing for the coronavirus in order not to emphasize the number of cases that had been identified; he should do exactly the reverse in order to highlight the declining death rate and the clear distinction between the small minority that are vulnerable for reasons of reduced immunity, usually due to age, and the great majority who are economically inconvenienced but have virtually no danger of succumbing to the virus. It is equally hard to understand what he thought he was doing when he tweeted a video that included a man in a golf cart festooned with pro-Trump signs exclaiming “White Power.” The president certainly would not have detected that as it was only noticeable in the first second of the video, but somebody on his staff must be assigned to make sure that the president’s tweets do not bring him into disrepute.

With the imposition of discretion in social media and the withdrawal of the president from being constantly in the face of the public, it will instantly become much more difficult for the Democrats to portray him as President Chaos, as if he were responsible for the virus and the mobs, and to incite the public’s fear that their president is an egomaniac who cannot tolerate not being constantly at the center of attention engaged in mortal combat with his unworthy foes. Doing his job, issuing appropriate statements about his activities through authorized spokespeople, and allowing the Democrats to stew in the malodorous juice of their misanthropic quest for a reimposed economic shutdown, and their love-in with the white-hating urban terrorists of BLM and Antifa, will raise the president’s popularity and the sane majority will be spared the continued ululations of impending triumph from the Trump-hating media. (Nothing seems to last in public consciousness more than about 10 days anyway, among these fast-paced pre-electoral events.)

The president’s policy choices at this point, in any case, are unusually restrained by the scandalous defection of his secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff—egged on by prominent retired officers formerly in the administration. Normally, and as many of his predecessors have done, the president could use the armed forces where governors declined to request them or mobilize the national guard, to hasten the re-imposition of law in the streets of the great cities of America. In the present charged circumstances, senior elements of the Defense Department have been suborned or dragooned by the anti-Trump resistance. (Regardless of the outcome of the election, the defense secretary and CJCS should be fired the day after the election.) It is better to await the Justice Department’s infiltration of subversive organizations and the accumulation of sufficient evidence to indict and detain the leaders of the principal agents of mob rule. 

All the country needs is a couple of weeks without the president seeming to be the source of this cacophony for the national interest in sensible government to reassert itself.

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About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

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