In doing so, he called the bluff laid out by Donald Trump in his convention speech last week.
In the speech, Trump focused on the violent aspects of the protests, suggesting that Biden would do nothing about them. The assumption was that this move would put the former VP in an awkward position by making him speak poorly of a nationwide movement with wide support.
First, he assumed that a lot of people support the violence. Despite some voices saying that burning and looting businesses are legitimate ways to protest police brutality, very few protesters actually share that view. Most people just go to the protest, make their voice heard, and return home.
Some people are particularly aggrieved and do engage in violence. However, they are a very small group, especially considering the tens of millions who have protested over the past few months.
Second, he doesn’t realize the protests are just as much about him. While racism/police brutality are the major factor behind the protests, people wouldn’t feel such an urgency to go out and protest were it not for Trump.
People feel helpless that anything will be done about racism over the course of Trump’s presidency. This is in contrast to Obama’s presidency where riots in Ferguson and Baltimore stayed in those cities and did not spread.
Biden, in condemning the violence, has taken away Trump’s main excuse for not supporting the protests.
Now, his choice is to either support the protests (unlikely) or come up with a reason, other than violence, why not to.
He could say it’s a result of fake news and maybe his hardcore supporters will go for that. But people who are on the fence, and aren’t so cynical about the news, will probably shy away from such an explanation.
After all, no matter what you think about the protests, it’s undeniable that there is racism in the United States. It’s also undeniable that when the police engage in racism it’s almost never a black cop against a white man.
He has to address the reason why people are protesting. It’s one thing to condemn the violence, but it’s another to condemn the protests.
No matter what he thinks about the protests, a lot of voters think they are completely legitimate. Many of those voters are still undecided about who they will vote for in the fall.
Thus, for his own sake, Trump needs to come up with a good excuse for not supporting the protests sooner rather than later. Especially considering that it could lead to some very difficult questions in the debates.
Do you think Trump will Acknowledge the Protests as Legitimate?