Trump supporters invoke fear to win over voters

Published August 26, 2020
US President Donald Trump arrives to listen to first lady Melania Trump deliver her live address to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on August 25, 2020. — Reuters
US President Donald Trump arrives to listen to first lady Melania Trump deliver her live address to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on August 25, 2020. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: Joe Biden would lock down the country again, end the booming market and “close it all down,”US President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday, echoing a theme repeatedly stressed on the first night of the Republican national convention (RNC) 2020.

Unlike Trump, some of Monday night’s speakers did not just target the Democratic candidate. They denounced all those who oppose Trump as members of a radical left that wanted to destroy America and burn down its cities.

Among them was a white St Louis couple facing charges for brandishing guns at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters who accused Democrats of “protecting criminals from honest citizens.” Those criminals and their Democratic supporters, the couple claimed, were also going to “abolish the suburbs,” that are predominantly white.

“That’s crazy! We’re having record job growth and a booming stock market, but Joe would end it all and close it all down. Ridiculous,” tweeted Trump, supporting the message trumpeted at the convention.

Monday was the first of the four-night convention where fear mongering dominated the proceedings along with the claim that Democrats would defund police departments to unleash mostly non-white protesters on peaceful Americans.

In a pre-recorded speech, the couple — Mark and Patricia McCloskey — presented the November election as a struggle between the law-abiding Americans and lawless protesters. “Your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America’ The radicals are not content just marching in the streets,” Mark McCloskey said. “They want to walk the halls of Congress. They want power. This is Joe Biden’s party. These are the people who will be in charge.”

The couple was charged with felony and unlawful use of weapons in June after they waved guns at demonstrators near their St. Louis home. The US media reported that their actions risked creating violent clashes during an otherwise nonviolent protest.

“It seems as if Democrats no longer view the government’s job as protecting honest citizens from criminals, but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens,” Mark McCloskey said.

President Trump had retweeted video footage of the couple pointing weapons at the crowd.

“They want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single-family home zoning,” Patricia McCloskey said. “They would bring crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into thriving suburban neighborhoods”.

“Make no mistake: no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.”

Another RNC speaker, Charlie Kirk, the founder of the organization Turning Point USA, dubbed President Trump the “bodyguard of western civilization”. The November election, he said, was a battle between “preserving America as we know it and eliminating everything that we love.” The nation’s values were under attack from “deceitful, vengeful, arrogant activists,” he added.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, partner of Trump’s son Don Jr and a former Fox News host, claimed that Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris wanted to: “Destroy this country and everything we have fought for and hold dear. They want to steal your liberty, your freedom. They want to control what you see and think and believe so that they can control how you live.”

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2020

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