The following editorial appeared in the (New York) Daily News.

Our hearts are with the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, which continue in the streets of American cities. They aim to shine an unforgiving spotlight on stubborn structural racism pervading society. But as unrest grows in intensity in reaction to the overzealous, anti-American federal crackdown ordered by President Donald Trump in Portland, Oregon, demonstrators must take care not to feed the very beast they seek to remove from office.

Whether or not “law and order” Trump is largely responsible for escalating tensions (and he is), the perception that chaos is overrunning cities risks redounding to his political benefit in November.

Polls show Trump increasingly on the ropes. In no small part due to his cataclysmic handling of the coronavirus, he is trailing in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and other states that were crucial to his win over Hillary Clinton in 2016. This has him scrambling to change his tack on COVID-19 while spouting angry rhetoric about cities being handed over to far-left anarchists.

The few among the many peaceful and law-abiding demonstrators who choose to destroy property or goad cops give Trump the domestic enemy he so desperately craves. As the mayor of Oakland, California, Libby Schaaf, said: “Images of a vandalized downtown is exactly what he wants to whip up his base and to potentially justify sending in federal troops that will only incite more unrest.”

Trump is drowning. Activists on the far left must not throw him a lifeline.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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