On Twitter, Mike Doran (@doranimated) shared a long thread about the violence his friends around the country see in their towns. The stories he shares are disturbing and frustrating. However, much like the riots and damage that occurred in small cities and suburbs during the George Floyd riots, what Doran’s friends are telling him will be sparsely covered if it’s covered at all.
Journalist Michael Tracey went out on the road to document the damage done outside of our major cities at the beginning of the summer. National media haven’t and won’t follow suit.
Doran decided to share what he has been told, in a Twitter thread. It includes demoralized law enforcement officers not intervening in street violence, escalating homelessness, and random violence. Here is a direct quote from his friend in New York:
“Here’s my neighborhood, Mike: An elderly man, enjoying dinner w/his wife at an outdoor restaurant, punched in the face. A woman waiting for the subway to come stabbed in the back. An older neighbor pausing to catch his breath told to pay two dollars in protection money or get the f**k off that particular street corner. This is just the ten block radius from where I live in the last six days.”
Others in the city talk about the criminals, including sex offenders, who are housed in hotels on the residential Upper West Side. Business districts are destroyed, and drug paraphernalia and other trash litter the streets.
Doran’s contacts in Philadelphia tell him about being robbed a gunpoint. Squatters are taking over vacant homes in Los Angeles neighborhoods. Minneapolis is in smoldering ruins, and the damage in immigrant neighborhoods has not even been calculated.
You won’t see the insanity and squalor going on in some of our largest cities if you watch CNN or MSNBC. Unless you are on social media, you might not even know that Chicago went full Batman Begins, pulling up its drawbridges in response to massive looting and property destruction. It is almost certain unless you watch or read Fox News or another right-leaning outlet you have no idea the local chapter of Black Lives Matter endorsed the wholesale destruction of the Miracle Mile as “reparations.”
Still, somehow the word is getting out. America is returning to the mid-’70s when some of our largest cities were hollowed out from riots and soaring violent crime. The damage done to our urban centers in the last few months will roll the clock back and take decades to recover from. Between the pandemic and the destruction, some businesses will never reopen. Some will choose to leave, along with residents who have the means to escape these urban cesspools. It’s already started.
According to Rasmussen, 72% of all likely voters say they are concerned about the growing level of violent protest nationwide, with 43% who are very concerned. Even more interesting, 62% say the increasing level of violent protest is important to their vote in the next election, including 35% who say it is a very important voting issue.
When asked whether it is time for law enforcement to crack down on protests, 50% agree. 38% believe protests should continue, and 11% are undecided. Given the level of concern in the other question, the wording of this question was odd. It did not ask whether law enforcement should crack down on violent protests specifically. Given than most Americans believe in the right to protest peacefully, this detail may have yielded more support for law enforcement addressing the violent agitators.
Since everything is partisan, it is no great surprise this question is as well. 56% of Democrats feel protests should go until those in the street decide they should end. Three-quarters of Republicans and a plurality of unaffiliated voters disagree.
Leading Democrats have either denied the protests are violent, or refused to condemn them. Everyone from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to nominee Joe Biden blamed violence in Portland on the presence of federal law enforcement officers. But the fact that violence continued after the Department of Homeland Security pulled out the officers deployed there has put that ridiculous assertion to rest. Violent riots have gone on unabated for approximately 75 straight days. Portland still won’t allow the police to do their jobs.
With the concern over the violent riots rising, you would think it might give some of these bored middle-class live-action role players a clue that playacting the revolution might get them another term of Donald Trump. But of course not. They are now planning a 50 day “White House Siege” beginning on September 17th. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler warned Seattle rioters they were creating b-roll for Trump campaign ads. Adbusters and their group of LARPers in Washington D.C. may become Trump: The Movie, inspiring another four-year run.
Doran closed his thread with an observation:
It is about a war on the American middle class being waged from above and below by people whose response to the values and the struggles of average American familiesis hostility and contempt — and who imagine that the threat of further violence is a crowbar they can use to get Donald Trump out of the White House.
Sacrificing America’s cities on the altar of their political cause may seem bizarre, because that’s where so many of their voters live — but it’s not. Who else are urban liberals going to vote for?
Suburbanites can’t help but see the destruction of the cities as a harbinger of what could be next for them. The question is who can protect them — Donald Trump, or the people who celebrate the CHAZ.
I know how I answer that question
I know how my suburban neighbors are going to answer that question as well.