We owe it to history to now state the obvious: it wasn’t fear of rioting by violent Trump supporters that had America on edge for lo these many months.
In the wake of Joe Biden’s win, there have been no riots and no civic unrest. We knew this would be the case if Mr. Biden won.
The headline on a London Spectator article sums up the reason for America’s newly restored civic peace: “Deplorables Don’t Riot.” The author of the piece, Andrew Bacevich, notices:
There have been no outbreaks of Trumpist violence. The Proud Boys are not marauding the suburbs and ‘pivot counties’ with AR-15s. Buildings are not being set on fire. Yes, there have been entirely (not just ‘largely’) peaceful protests.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a ’Stop the Steal’ rally was held to demand an ‘audit’ of the vote. ‘We’re not asking for much,’ Rep. Scott Perry told the crowd. ‘We want the ballots and the votes that are counted to be legal, to be valid. We want to have a postmark on them either on or before election, not after Election Day.’
Sour grapes? Possibly. Yet what’s most remarkable is not that Trump’s voters are complaining — any group of people who lost an election so late would be entitled to feel aggrieved. It’s that there are absolutely no signs of civil unrest among Trump supporters. As Donald Trump Jr put it on Twitter: ‘70 million pissed off Republicans and not one city burned to the ground.’ Little Donald has a point. Deplorables don’t riot.
The Wall Street Journal also noticed the quiet on Saturday and Sunday after a Biden victory was announced:
The Trump supporters stayed home. No doubt they are disappointed, perhaps even angry. But perhaps they are also accepting the results as unfortunate though the price of living in a democratic republic. Sometimes your candidate loses.
Would it have been the same if Donald Trump had won? You know the answer. The protests would have been ugly, perhaps worse even than earlier this year. And the media and many Democratic politicians would have cheered them on, or at least not objected as they also failed to object this summer. They would have blamed the disorder on Mr. Trump.
All of this reveals the extent to which this year’s riots were part of a political strategy. They may have started as a protest against the death of George Floyd and police abuses against black men. But as the riots rolled on, the goal for many protesters and their cheerleaders was to show that the country had become ungovernable under Mr. Trump.
When potential post-election violence was discussed on “The Five,” Marie Harf, the former Obama administration official who is now a Fox contributor, pointed to a fear of Trump supporting militias. We all knew that this was just a talking point of the left.
The riots were hugely successful, however, and the pessimists among us can see that they will continue to be useful in the future. It will be helpful to future discourse, and to charting a course for the nation, if we acknowledge the sources of the violence that has beset us. It wasn’t the peace-loving Deplorables.