Here’s a piece from earlier in the week from Ron Brownstein writing in The Atlantic. It’s a lengthy piece, but despite the ominous tweet that promotes it, it’s mostly about red states versus blue cities, as well as Republican governors versus Democratic mayors, reaching all the way back to conflicts like North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” It also goes on at length about the states’ response to the coronavirus pandemic and the difference between authoritarian Democratic governors like Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer (good) to Republican governors like Georgia’s Brian Kemp doing what he can to get the state moving again (bad).

But when it comes right down to the last sentence, Brownstein means what the tweet says:

Of course, the idea that President Trump is deliberately trying to “portray blue cities as a threat” — by accurately citing the numbers of gun homicides and such — isn’t new. Trump is obviously trying to scare red-state voters into voting for a law and order president like himself — even CNN’s media hall monitor criticized Fox News’ Sean Hannity for opening his show with “scary video” from the streets of Portland, and even Fox News cut away from the White House press briefing when video from Portland was played for the White House press corps.

Brownstein writes:

In deploying federal forces, Trump appears to be trying to provoke clashes with protesters, which he can use to convince white suburban voters that he’s the last line of defense between them and the chaos allegedly incubating in cities, Rahm Emanuel, the former Chicago mayor, told me. Referring to the street battle between construction workers and anti-war protesters in Manhattan in 1970, Emanuel said, “Trump is trying to create his own hard-hat riot, and they are wearing [law-enforcement] helmets.”

But what sort of closing line is this anyway: “And if Trump wins a second term—especially if that victory relies on another rural surge to overcome massive opposition across the big metros—the chaos in Portland might look like only the preliminary skirmish for an even more incendiary collision to come.” Hey — we covered the rioting in Portland after Hillary Clinton lost the election, so it’s not like we’d expect Democrats to accept the results of an election.

Exactly. Forget Trump — aren’t the rioters in Portland putting weeks into the effort to burn down federal property to scare red-state voters into voting for Joe Biden so they’ll stop and everything will be peaceful?

No, Brownstein’s just warning of the inevitable violence that will occur because Trump has so divided the country with his attack on Democrat-run cities. It’s Trump’s fault.

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