The silent majority grows ever more silent.
Tens of millions of Americans are aghast at what is taking place in our country. Neighborhoods burned by angry mobs, an entire section of Seattle “occupied” by anarchists, the city council of Minneapolis voting to eliminate its police department, public monuments and statues trashed, popular TV shows canceled because they show law enforcement in a favorable light, over 700 cops injured during “mostly peaceful protests.”
Most Americans are horrified by these offenses, but fearful. They know that objecting to the violence or challenging the overarching accusation from the Left – that our country is “profoundly racist” – is dangerous. The woke mob will shame you and get you fired.
No one will stand up for you; no one will protect you. It is safer to remain silent.
In 1969, Richard Nixon called on the “silent majority” to push back against anti-war activists protesting America’s involvement in Vietnam. President Trump tweeted those words recently, suggesting correctly that most of the country opposed the chaos in our streets.
Harry Enten, writing at CNN, derides the reference to a “silent” majority, arguing that polling at the time accurately reflected Nixon’s broad support, which later translated into his landslide reelection.
Enten writes that today’s polls show that President Trump lacks such broad backing. He is correct that the president does not have Nixon’s high approval ratings. But he fails to note that on several issues the public is aligned with the president.
For instance, the craven management of the New York Times fired an editor for running Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed calling for the use of troops, if necessary, to quell violent riots. But it turns out a solid majority of Americans agreed with Cotton.
The majority of the country – 64 percent according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll – also disagrees with the Left’s calls to Defund the Police, the latest craze to sweep the nation’s liberal hot spots.
Some 82 percent of respondents to a recent survey agreed that peaceful protests are an “appropriate response” to the killing of an unarmed man by police.
But unlike CNN anchor Chris Cuomo who recently argued that demonstrators don’t have to be “peaceful,” only 22 percent of the country agreed that violent protests are an appropriate response. Fully 72 percent disagreed with that statement, including 58 percent that “strongly disagreed.”
The majority of Americans disapproves of flying the Confederate flag in public places, but at the same time most do not want to see statues and memorials of Confederate leaders torn down or removed, as is happening now across the country.
Why aren’t people speaking out? It isn’t safe.
Our nation has always been divided on many issues, including those concerning race and policing. But today is different. There has never before been such a concerted effort to shut down dissent.
The CEO of CrossFit, a Libertarian who refused to embrace Black Lives Matter, but who has no history of racism, was forced to resign from the firm he founded. Editors of prominent newspapers and magazines have been forced to step down for the sin of bucking progressive dogma, or even publishing a contrary opinion.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was slammed for supporting the American flag. Imagine.
The silent majority doesn’t believe a country that twice elected a black man president – by a majority vote – is racist; they don’t think a country that celebrates the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King is racist.
Most important, they search their own hearts, and do not find racism.
Those arguing the essential evil of America point to police brutality, epitomized by the ugly murder of George Floyd. But according to Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald, “A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing.”
In 2019, only 0.1 percent of black homicides were of unarmed black men killed by police. The data shows that “…a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
Protesters, egged on by the liberal media, dismiss the facts; they celebrate emotion. Videos of Floyd and others killed by cops have alarmed the nation and spurred widespread support for sensible police reforms. As usual, however, the Left is going too far.
On many of their proposals and actions, they are losing the silent majority.
Our nation has always been divided on many issues, including those concerning race and policing. But today is different. There has never before been such a concerted effort to shut down dissent. There have never been such all-out attacks on people, and not just their opinions.
Today, if you fail to stand up for Black Lives Matter, an organization now committed to defunding the police, according to their website, you are not only pummeled for being wrong, you are tagged as a bad person.
This is frightening. We hold the liberal media and also those managing our major social media companies accountable. We also blame those kneeling reflexively to the faux arbiters of right and wrong. They embrace diversity but they are fundamentally intolerant, intent on scuttling the prized American tradition of free speech.
Meanwhile, CNN’s columnist is wrong that polling conclusively reflects public opinion.
People are afraid to admit they back President Trump, even to pollsters. Polling outfit Morning Consult describes this “phenomenon as the “shy Trump” effect, or — in academic parlance — a form of “social-desirability bias.” If people are nervous about expressing support for Trump, imagine how reluctant they are to question the prevailing narrative on racism.
If you doubt that Trump supporters are cowed by the hostility of the Left, ask yourself when you last saw a MAGA hat in Manhattan or a bumper sticker in Berkeley. No one would dare.
That doesn’t mean Trump is doing well politically at the moment. He has made missteps, the coronavirus has clobbered the economy and the George Floyd protests have him on the defensive.
But if attacks on our cities, our cops and our public monuments continue, Trump will have the support of the silent majority in November. They will make their voices heard.