Violence in Kenosha could be turning point in presidential election

Lawless barbarity is tearing apart cities across the nation.

SHARE Violence in Kenosha could be turning point in presidential election

The remains of cars burned by protestors the previous night, on Aug. 25, during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake, are seen on a used-cars lot in Kenosha.

Kerem Yucel/Getty

If Donald Trump wins reelection after trailing so badly in the polls, Kenosha may go down in history as a turning point.

The violence there got so bad that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden finally had to acknowledge what was plain to everyone but hands-over-their-eyes Democrats — lawless barbarity is tearing apart cities across the nation.

Biden condemned “needless violence.” Makes you wonder what kind of violence he thinks is needed.

Kenosha is what happens when law and order retreat, it’s a preview of life in a defund-the-police world.

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If police aren’t there to defend lives and property, someone else will eventually step in. In the Wisconsin town, it turned out to be a vigilante type who’s allegedly killed two people. Liberals cry “right wing fanatics.” But that’s more of the Democrat hands-over-their-eyes syndrome.

Don’t think for a minute that the suburban gated enclaves of the wealthy and the upscale condo towers in places like Chicago’s lakeshore neighborhoods aren’t reviewing their security systems and beefing them up. City government moved homeless people, who defecated in the street and harassed area residents, into a hotel in the affluent, overwhelming Democratic Upper West Side of Manhattan, and the locals rose “up in arms,” reported the New York Times.

Americans saw Adam Haner beaten unconscious by a mob in Portland and headed for the gun shop. Firearm background checks by the FBI exploded by 79% in July alone. Nearly 5 million Americans bought a gun for the first time in 2020, reports the National Sports Shooting Foundation — and the year is not over. Guess who’s buying those guns? According to the group’s survey, 58% of all gun sales were by African Americans, and women were 40 percent of first-time gun buyers.

Until Kenosha, even as the fires raged, businesses were plundered and crime skyrocketed, Democrats harped time and time again about “mostly peaceful protests,” insinuating that anyone not falling in line was somehow against First Amendment freedoms. “Mostly peaceful protests” was the evasive response when Trump pointed out the obvious: looting, rioting, arson, beatings and murders were engulfing cities almost exclusively run by Democrats.

Another uncomfortable truth is that the rioting is just the latest manifestation of Democrat-run cities retreating from the “broken windows” theory of policing that made possible the urban renaissance of the last couple of decades. That concept says if you let minor law breaking go unpunished, more serious crime follows. Then came a foolish assertion that the nation is too tough on criminals. The consequences followed.

One of the stark examples was the Sun-Times analysis by Frank Main showing that Chicago’s soaring murder rate came as shockingly high numbers of criminal defendants were let out of jail on electronic-monitoring bracelets. That included more than 1,000 charged with murder, robbery or illegal possession of guns. The stunning revelation that 43 people accused of murder were out on electronic monitoring on one August day came with the even more astonishing disclosure that this was only 40% higher than a year ago.

When Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped all charges against actor Jessie Smollett for his false claim of being a hate crime victim, the message was clear: There’s no rule of law, only the rules Democrat Foxx wants to enforce.

The Trump-hating virus that infects Democrats have them condemning the president for the rioting. Another Chicago example came in Mayor Lori Lightfoot claiming Chicago’s gun violence was the fault of Trump’s failure to enact the kind of gun laws she favors. Pass-the-buck Democrats like Lightfoot, who want the power of government but not the responsibility, will always find a Republican to blame. If Trump is defeated, it will be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or a Red State governor or a GOP legislature somewhere.

No one is against peaceful protests. No one wants police brutality to go unpunished. But the overwhelming majority of cops do an impossibly tough job with professionalism and honor. 

The Democrats’ retreat from proven police practices set the stage for the riots, chaos and anarchy, reasonably opening them up to the charge that they are soft on crime.

Voters will look at the record and wonder this: If the Democrats are so wrong on the fundamental issue of safe streets, safe neighborhoods and safe communities, how can they be right on Biden’s far left goal to radically transform America with new taxes, intrusive healthcare initiatives and crazy climate change ideas like those have have left California reeling from power outages?

Add to this the Republicans’ successful convention that, among other things, showcased minorities and women not as victims, but as successful achievers and defenders of American ideals, and Trump’s chances start looking better for November.

Steve Huntley is a former editorial page editor and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. He can be reached at

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