Is This Really All Trump Has to Offer on Violent Protests?
Published in The Washington Post
on September 2, 2020
President Trump’s visit to Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday could have been the start of a unified approach to stem the urban rioting plaguing the United States. Instead, we got typical Trump: a photo op, an announcement of federal aid and a quick dash back to the White House.
It’s good that Trump visited the wreckage and spoke with some of the affected business owners and local law enforcement. It’s good that he announced millions of dollars for the city and its police. These gestures can’t hurt Kenosha as it seeks to rebuild.
What’s not good is that this is all Trump seems to offer more than three months after the killing of George Floyd launched the waves of protests and riots that increasingly rivet the nation’s attention. Nor has the administration addressed the underlying causes of police violence and public discontent. A president is not a dictator, and he does not have the power to jump in and solve local crime problems at the drop of a hat. But this has become a national problem, and it requires national leadership. On this score, Trump has been totally lacking.
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Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.