Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Only Just The Beginning, Only Just The Start

Joe Biden gave in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Monday a speech that was billed as his response to what appears to be growing urban violence It was less that than a laundry list of complaints about President Trump's failure on issue after issue. Nonetheless, it was a successful effort to begin hitting back oatthe President for his exploitation of law and disorder.

In the first ninety seconds, the former vice-president noted

And now we have to stand against violence in every form it takes. Violence we’ve seen again and again and again, of unwarranted police shooting, excessive force, seven bullets in the back of Jacob Blake. Knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing of Breonna Taylor in her own apartment.

Biden did speak of racial justice and mentioned Floyd and Blake elsewhere in the address but the emphasis was on his abhorrence of violence, which is as it should be.  It is clear the Biden-Harris ticket is appalled at racial injustice. The American people need to be reassured that Democrats also are enraged at murder and mayhem, which many voters are unsure of.

In his most effective moment, Biden asked the rhetorical question: "You know me, you know my heart, you know my story, my family story. Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?" He doesn't look like a radical socialist nor someone with a soft spot for rioters, nor is he, and the former makes the latter an easier sell. Sometimes appearances are not deceiving.

It's a tougher sell with his running mate, who knew what it took to be the Democratic nominee for vice-president at a black lives matter moment. And wisely, Biden omitted any reference to Senator Harris in his speech.  That served not only to remind voters of his commitment to opposing violence but also of his determination to be in charge if elected President. 

Trump, Biden asserted, has "no problem with right-wing militia, white supremacists,and vigilantes with assault weapons often better armed than the police."  Voters must understand that the Democratic nominee is not the candidate who defends accused murderers or the right-wingers who are fomenting domestic discord, and are enabled by easy access to firearms. It can be Biden's America or it can be the America we see now- Donald Trump's America.

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