Saturday, June 13, 2020

The public seems to be ignoring anarchists, looters and concern trolls. Wasow is now covering his ass, and academics find new just-so stories to replace the old ones.  "In my book, tentatively titled..."
Over two weeks after the protests against the killing of George Floyd began, America remains firmly in the year 2020. 1968, with its sustained chaos and broad white backlash, is still a distant memory and, one hopes, a less potent allusion for our times. But many are still determined to believe the demonstrations we’ve seen will take a toll on the Democratic Party and the American left. Disdain for the protests on the right was carried into this week by National Review’s Kyle Smith on Monday. “After more than two months of frustration and boredom stemming from the lockdowns, the riots looked like a combination of outburst, festival, and religious observance,” he wrote. “The new religion is anti-racism; displaying one’s devotion requires mass gatherings, displays of self-mortification.”

This will likely be the image of the protests the president and his backers continue pushing through the election; the possibility of a campaign focused on these uprisings has scared some liberals from the outset. “The bulk of [Trump’s] comments have focused on ending protesters’ violence rather than addressing the cause behind the demonstrations, with invocations of the upcoming presidential election,” Vox’s German Lopez wrote last week. “If that works to get Trump reelected, the protests almost certainly won’t accomplish the policy changes that many movement leaders want. We don’t know if history will repeat itself, but there are signs that it could.”

But there are already signs that it isn’t. Polls since the protests against the killing of George Floyd began have consistently shown broad public support for the movement.

One of the latest, published Tuesday by The Washington Post, shows 74 percent of Americans support the protests, including a 53 percent majority of Republicans. That poll also produced a figure much more striking than the headline result. While the Post found that Americans were about evenly divided on the question of whether the protests have been mostly peaceful or mostly violent, a 53 percent majority of those who believed the protests were mostly violent supported them anyway. The Post also reported that 69 percent of Americans believe Floyd’s killing reflected “broader problems in treatment of Black Americans by police.”

That finding, the Post’s Scott Clement and Dan Balz wrote, “marks a significant shift when compared with the reactions in 2014 to police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York.”

All this is consistent with another survey published Wednesday in The New York Times, which showed that support for Black Lives Matter has jumped dramatically since the protests began. “Over the last two weeks, support for Black Lives Matter increased by nearly as much as it had over the previous two years, according to data from Civiqs, an online survey research firm,” the Times’ Nate Cohn and Kevin Quealy wrote. “By a 28-point margin, Civiqs finds that a majority of Americans support the movement, up from a 17-point margin before the most recent wave of protests began.”
What a list.

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