Democrats Whitewash Leftist Violence | National Review

Protesters gather around after setting fire to the entrance of a police station as demonstrations continue after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., May 28, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Once the hysteria devolved into violence, it caught up to Democrats in the polls. Now they’re just attempting to whitewash history.


t took only one week for the legacy media to go from gaslighting the nation about leftist violence to begging Joe Biden to distance himself from it.

“Joe Biden condemns violence in Portland and challenges President Trump to do the same” reads a ridiculous CNN headline about the presidential nominee’s speech in Pennsylvania yesterday.

The trouble with Biden’s contention, and the thrust of the CNN article, is that the former vice president blamed Donald Trump, “white nationalists” and “white supremacists,” not Antifa or Black Lives Matter, which have perpetrated most of the carnage we see in American cities. I’m sorry, it’s leftists who are chanting “death to America” in Oakland, not MAGA-hatted shock troops.

Moreover, Trump and Republicans have been condemning violence for months. They were pilloried for it. It wasn’t that long ago that Senator Tom Cotton wrote an op-ed in the New York Times suggesting Trump send National Guard troops to quell riots. The entire condemnation of Cotton was predicated on the notion that he wanted to deploy the military to crush peaceful “protesters.”

Perhaps the reality of situation escaped the attention of many media figures who for months were diligently downplaying the existence of the looting, rioting, arson, statue-toppling, and murder. Perhaps these reporters and pundits fooled themselves into believing that Marxist Antifa “protesters” were really akin to the G.I.s landing in Normandy to stop the Nazis.

For months, we’ve been hearing the juvenile assertion that the country’s protests were “mostly peaceful.” Only this past Sunday, CNN’s Chris Cillizza was still tweeting that “Trump’s efforts to label what is happening in major cities as ‘riots’ speaks at least somewhat to his desperation,” despite the fact that much of downtown Kenosha had already been burned down by leftist agitators who had gathered from around the country.

You may remember New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof penned a reported piece titled, “Help Me Find Trump’s ‘Anarchists’ in Portland,” wherein he notes that the “president has his politically driven narrative. And then there’s reality.”

I guess he found them now.

Kristof’s first column, like so many others, assumed that Trump was exaggerating the political violence for partisan reasons. When Trump sent National Guard troops to quell the “protesters” who were attempting to firebomb the federal courthouse building, the entire Democratic Party’s media complex mobilized to perpetuate the myth that presence of troops had triggered the violence itself, and that peaceful protesters were being snatched off the streets by fascistic stormtroopers who had occupied the city. In the vivid imagination of many contemporary Democrats, Portland in 2020 was just like Chile in 1973.

Let’s be honest: Every day is like Chile 1973 for such Democrats. There have been so many ginned-up moral panics over the past four years that they simply dissipate into the ether. Reminder: The National Guard hysteria — “Trump’s Occupation of American Cities Has Begun,” for example, warned Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times — happened right before the “fascists are snatching our mailboxes!” hysteria.

“As right-wing groups increasingly move to confront protesters in U.S. cities, demonstrators are assessing how to keep themselves safe,” says the same New York Times today. By the time this is all over, rioters will be remembered as the true victims.

Democrats thought they could somehow take advantage of radical protests to help them win 2020. It has backfired. Once distaste for the violence began showing up in polling, and once Republicans could circumvent media coverage during their convention and focus on David Dorn and other victims of leftist violence, the Democratic Party and their allies switched the narrative.

Today, the dangerously unserious House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff blames Trump and, who else, the Russians for “willfully fanning the flames of this violence.” Joy Reid, recently given a primetime show on one of the country’s major news networks, claimed that the riots were false flag operations perpetrated by “armed white nationalists” deployed as a nationwide strategy to help reelect Trump.

Just yesterday, NBC News reported that “Trump praises right-wing supporters, rails against protesters after unrest in Portland.” In many ways, the story is prototypical of Trump Age journalism.

The reporter, Allan Smith, describes the shooting of an unarmed Trump fan thus: “a man was shot and killed in confrontations between Black Lives Matter protesters.” In the very same piece, the reporter describes Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who claims he shot two rioters in self-defense, as a person who “was accused of having opened fire Tuesday during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two people.”

For NBC News, in one shooting there was a vague “confrontation” where the presence of pro-Trump activists “contributed to violent clashes,” and in the other a man “opened fire” on “demonstrators . . . protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake.”

Not long ago Biden’s campaign staff was bragging about their donations to a group that paid the bail fees for Minneapolis rioters. And veep pick Kamala Harris was promoting these groups as well. Today? “Fires are burning, and we have a president who fans the flames,” says Biden. I wonder if reporters will track down any of those “protesters” Biden’s staff bailed out to see what they’ve gotten themselves into.

In any event, Biden promises that once Trump is gone peace will again prevail.  “Americans weren’t getting murdered every week in political violence when Barack Obama was president,” another CNN commentor says. “This American carnage began in Donald Trump’s America. He is dividing the country and inciting a civil war for his own cynical political purposes.”

Let’s set aside the fact that virtually every police shooting that’s sparked riots and violence in the past four years has occurred in cities run by Democratic mayors and often progressive city councils. Trump does not run the Minneapolis or Kenosha police departments. Wasn’t Obama president during the riots in Milwaukee, Baltimore, Oakland, and Ferguson? Wasn’t it Obama who was president when five Dallas police officers were murdered by a Black Lives Matter activist? Wasn’t Obama president when a Bernie Sanders fan tried to assassinate a bunch of Republican congressmen in Alexandria, Va.?

When a few hundred Nazis rioted in Charlottesville, the very soul of the country was at stake. When far leftists are behind mass unrest across the nation for months, causing billions in damage and destroying thousands of lives — most of them in minority communities — it’s still Republicans who are at fault.

Of course Biden doesn’t want cities to burn. But Democrats have spent years stoking conspiratorial and paranoid fantasies among their gullible activists. Every traditional political setback Democrats experience — a tax cut or Federalist Society-approved judge’s confirmation — is treated like a dire attack on the foundations of “democracy.” The constant and cynical delegitimizations of American institutions and our elections have convinced a bunch of people that their voice has been stolen. And once the hysteria devolved into violence, it caught up to Democrats in the polls. Now they’re just attempting to whitewash history.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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