Some “Progressives” Are Helping Trump — Biden Is Fighting Back

Defund the Chicago Police Dept. and Loot it All Back?

6 min readSep 4, 2020
Banners at Front of BLM March: Defund Police and Loot it ALL
Banners in Front of BLM march, Chicago, Aug. 15

Rioting… Looting… Setting fires… None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way.

— Joe Biden, Aug 31

1. Joe Biden shouldn’t need to say that

He’s always been a strong supporter of the Black community — as they proved by handing him the nomination. And everyone knows he’s no left-wing radical. But Trump spent his convention pushing a clever lie:

  • He “doesn’t have the strength to stand up to wild-eyed Marxists like Bernie Sanders …” He’ll let the “radical left defund police departments.”
  • “The Republican Party condemns rioting, looting, arson, … in the strongest possible terms,” but …
  • “Biden and his supporters were completely silent about the rioters … never even mentioned it during their entire convention.”

[ Let me be perfectly clear. Not all left radicals are helping Trump, only the “dark-side” radicals. MLK was radical, but he was no Trump-helping rioter. ]

Over the weekend, political observers warned Biden to fire back and prove the obvious. He did a great job of it on the Monday after the conventions. But he’ll have to keep that up along with his smashing counterattack:

Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?

2. So what’s the big deal?

Coming out against rioting, looting, and arson — nothing should be easier. Right?

Not if you’re a Democrat and the year is 2020.

You think I’m joking?

Willie Brown, California’s best-known Black politician, explained:

“The biggest threat to a Democratic election sweep in November isn’t the Republican in the White House, but the demonstrators who are tearing up cities in the name of racial justice.”

But then he made his real point:

“The Democrats are in a heck of a bind. If they stand up and condemn the so-called demonstrators, the left wing will label them as Trump flunkies and they’ll be in all sorts of trouble.”

Is Willie Brown right? If a Democrat stands up and condemns the rioters, will left-wing radicals call out that Democrat as a Trump flunky? George Packer, writing in The Atlantic the day before Brown’s op-ed, said:

Democratic leaders are reluctant to draw the wrath of their own progressive base.” That’s Willie Brown’s point exactly.

3. Senator Chris Murphy

On the day the Trump convention ended a Democrat tried the experiment. Here’s what Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut tweeted:

It gained 8,400 likes in less than an hour but was viciously attacked by the radical left, just as Willie Brown predicted. Murphy took it down in just 55 minutes.

Yep. Condemn looting and the radical lefties will go after you. Trump loves ‘em.

The radicals cannot tolerate any discussion of looting or arson, because they are on the side of the “protestors” — no matter what. You know, … solidarity!

Lefty looters are still lefties, even if they’re helping Trump. Consequences don’t matter when you’re truly righteous.

4. Arson: “That’s How Forests Grow”?!

This idea was road-tested only a week after George Floyd was murdered. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (who is White) passionately declared, “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow.” What?! The Black folks whose businesses had been torched might beg to differ. And 95% of all Americans would have taken their side.

Banner for BLM demonstration: Our futures have been looted from us … Loot Back.

5. A Chicago BLM Organizer

Ariel Atkins, extended Healey's point: “A lot of people are really attacking our pages. They’re like, ‘You support the looters.’ Yeah, we do, 100%. That’s reparations.” [for slavery]

If you’re Black loot away, but White or Hispanic allies? Hands off those Gucci sunglasses.

To deflect criticism away from Atkin’s political blunder, BLM cofounder Aislinn Pulley said discussions of looting “works to distract away from the actual cause of the outrage.”

By mentioning looting, Senator Murphy had committed the PC crime of “distracting.” Of course, the looting and arson were no distraction at all. They were just part of the BLM protest. So Pulley had no need to criticize them.

As you can see above, BLM positioned two banners at the front of its August 15 march celebrating the recent Chicago looting. They read:

“Defund CPD [the Chicago Police Dept]” and “Loot it all back.”

6. Joe Biden Defends Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

“Defund and Loot” — that’s a Democrat trap and a ready-made commercial for Donald J Trump. And on August 31, Biden took a powerful stand against rioting, looting, and arson. In today’s moving-left Democratic Party, that now takes a lot of courage.

Although Biden didn’t say it, he was directly supporting Chicago’s Black Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She had called the looting “straight-up felony, criminal conduct,” which of course “drew the wrath of her own progressive base,” exactly as George Packer had predicted.

BLM Chicago promptly issued a statement admonishing Lightfoot that “she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the Chicago Police Department is abolished.” In other words, they’d keep looting until the police were abolished and they could loot freely. Atkins later told NPR that

“The whole idea of criminality is based on racism anyway.”

Police reform is essential, but the radical left will continue to tie it to rioting, defunding and abolishing the police — even though this hurts their cause more than Trump can. And Trump will be lying every day, trying to tie Biden to left radicals, anarchists, and socialists.

To win this race, Biden must keep fighting back by speaking out not only against violence and vandalism.

To win this race, Biden must keep fighting back by speaking out against violence and vandalism. But he must also call out those who excuse it. It’s hurting their cause and ours. I believe Joe will do what’s right. As Michelle Obama says, he’s going high. Let’s give him all the support we can.

For the big picture, check out my book:

How Democrats Win: Resisting the Dark Side of Radicalism

There you’ll find a free PDF of the book and a link to it on Amazon.

FAQs from Facebook commenters:

1. Isn’t Antifa the same as BLM? Why did I leave them out?

  • No, they’re mostly White, dress up in black, and look for fights with Trump supporters.
  • BLM is organized by Black women, and mainly advocates peaceful protests.
  • I ignored antifa because they are not advocating rioting, arson or looting, they don’t say anything, and swing voters don’t think they will have any influence if Biden is elected. But I’ve taken them on here.

2. Why hasn’t Biden said anything about BLM?

  • Mostly because they are hard to pin down and complicated. They make some good points but accidentally do things to help Trump.
  • So Biden sticks with general principles that are clear and simple to talk about. That’s how political campaigns work.
  • However, I do think he should call out specific things BLM has said, just as Bill Clinton called out Sister Souljah for saying:

If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people? … If there are any good white people, I haven’t met them.

  • Speaking to Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow Coalition in1992, Clinton said, “If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black,’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech.”

3. Why talk about looting when Black lives are at stake?

  • People compare the dollar cost of looting to the moral cost of those killed by the police and conclude that looting is such a small problem that is should be ignored.
  • But that misses the main point — Loot, arson, violence, and vandalism discredit the protests.
  • You can say they shouldn’t, but they do. That’s how politics works. So anyone who talks about protests needs to talk about what makes them fail.
  • It now said that the riots of the 1960s is how we got civil rights passed. But MLK’s famous 1964 civil rights bill was signed on July 2 and the first urban riot of the 1960s was the Rochester 1964 race riot, 24–26 July 1964.




Politically active since the Free Speech Movement, two books on climate policy, now writing on politics. Background in economics and physics.