Black Lives Matter is now more popular than the president of the United States — and not slightly more popular than the president, much more popular.
A survey this week by Rasmussen, a right-leaning pollster, found that 62 percent of likely voters now have a favorable opinion of Black Lives Matter. At the same time, Rasmussen found that Donald Trump’s approval rating was 43 percent. That’s almost 20 points lower.
And by the way, Trump was not alone. Black Lives Matter is far more popular than Joe Biden, too. It’s more popular than America’s religious institutions — all of them. It’s more popular than the media, the Congress and big business.
Black Lives Matter is more popular by double digits than both the Democratic and the Republican parties. It’s almost as popular as the U.S. military. It’s much more popular than the pope.
The numbers are astounding, but the polls are not the only measure of it. One picture from a Black Lives Matter rally over the weekend in New York shows an ocean of people. Ask yourself the last time you saw a candidate for office who was able to draw a crowd like that?
The media, in their relentlessly fawning coverage, usually described Black Lives Matter as an activist group or a protest movement. But that’s deception by understatement. Black Lives Matter is not a collection of marchers with signs. It’s not a conventional political lobby like Planned Parenthood or the NRA. It’s not pressuring Congress to pass some narrow new set of laws.
Black Lives Matter is far more ambitious than that. It is working to remake the country and then to control it. It’s a political party. As of now, Black Lives Matter may be the single most powerful political party in the United States.
Nobody says that out loud, but politicians understand it perfectly well. If nothing else, they understand power; they can smell it at great distances. And that’s why they’re lining up to bow before Black Lives Matter.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.: You can’t really reform a department that that is rotten to the root.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.: We’ve heard our people cry out, “I can’t breathe!” We’ve heard our people speak out, “Black Lives Matter.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.: This is a systemic problem that requires a comprehensive solution.
Stacy Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate: What I would say is that there is — there is a legitimacy to this anger. There’s a legitimacy to this outrage.
None of what you just saw is a stretch for Democrats. They believe their long-term goals align with those of Black Lives Matter. And in fact, at times, the group functions as an arm of the Democratic Party.
More telling, though — and more ominous — is the response from many Republicans. They’ve been happy to go along as well, or in Mitt Romney’s case, even mouth the same slogans.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah: We need to end violence and brutality and to make sure that people understand that Black Lives Matter.
That was the former Republican nominee for president. Let that sink in. If there was ever an indicator of how powerful Black Lives Matter has become, you just saw it.
Republican leaders brag about their strong conservative convictions, but mostly they just want to be on the winning team, whatever that is. That’s why they pause before offending China. It’s why when Black Lives Matter tells them to take a knee, they do.
It’s all pretty strange when you think about it. If the leaders of Black Lives Matter are political actors — and they are — then by definition, you are allowed to have any opinion you want to have about them. Black Lives Matter wants to run the country; therefore, you can freely criticize Black Lives Matter.
Those are the rules of our system — but not anymore. Imagine a world where you are punished for questioning the behavior of the President or for insulting your local
mayor. You probably can’t imagine that. It’s too bizarre. It’s un-American. But that’s where we are right now.
Black Lives Matter has changed the rules. And here is their first new rule: No criticizing Black Lives Matter. You can be fired from your job if you disobey. Many Americans have been.
On Friday, for example, the principal of a public school in Windsor, Vermont. was dismissed from her job for posting the following words on her personal Facebook page:
“While I understand the urgency to feel compelled to advocate for black lives, what about our fellow law enforcement? Just because I don’t walk around with a BLM sign should not mean I’m a racist.”
Unfortunately, the principal’s boss disagreed. The superintendent of Windsor Schools described the quote you just heard as “outright racist.” Windsor, Vermont, by the way, is more than 97 percent white.
Also on Friday, an economist called Harald Uhlig lost his job at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for daring to offer even milder criticism than that. On Twitter, Uhlig noted that Black Lives Matter had”just torpedoed itself with its full-fledged support of #defund the police. Now is the time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all.”
That was a racist statement, the Federal Reserve concluded. So, they fired Harald Uhlig.
We could give you many other examples of the same thing happening. There are a lot of them. Black Lives Matter now enjoys almost complete immunity from criticism. This is unprecedented for an American political movement.
But Black Lives Matter is even more powerful than that. It has singlehandedly revised our moral framework. Yes, black lives do matter. That is a statement of fact, and no decent person doubts that it is true because it is. And it is true precisely because every life matters. We are all human beings, every one of us. We have souls. Skin color is irrelevant to moral value.
Until recently, this was considered obvious; saying it was regarded as a virtue. All lives matter equally. All of us were created by God. In the end, all of us will die. Nothing can change that — not wealth, not fame, not race. Every life is precisely as valuable as every other life.
By the way, that idea forms the basis of the Christian faith. It’s the entire premise behind our founding documents. And yet, suddenly, thanks to Black Lives Matter, you can no longer say it out loud.
Affirming the fundamental equality of all people is now considered hate speech. You can be fired for saying it. Again, many people have been.
This is a dangerous moment. How did we get here? In a word, quickly. It happened fast.
As recently as December, before the riots, most Americans did not approve of Black Lives Matter. The group was defined in the public mind by moments like this.
Crowd (chanting): Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon.
“Pigs in a blanket.” “Fry like bacon.” “Kill the police.” They yelled that at a rally. The usual liars immediately swooped in to pretend that it never happened. The president of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote an entire op-ed ordering the public not to consider Black Lives Matter a hate group.
But people could see the truth for themselves. That video was online. A lot of facts about Black Lives Matter still reside on the internet. They have not yet been scrubbed.
The group’s signature demand is to eliminate law enforcement. When you first heard protesters scream, “Defund the police,” it may have shocked you. That’s just crazy, you may have thought.
A few weeks later, support for eliminating law enforcement is rising quickly in the polls. Minneapolis is already doing it. Other cities will follow. Are you surprised? Almost no one in public life has pushed back meaningfully against the idea of defunding the police.
The Black Lives Matter position is the only position most people hear. After a while, they believe it. Unchallenged claims must be true. That’s what most people assume, and why wouldn’t they assume that? If you strongly disagree with something, say so, otherwise, it’s much more likely to happen.
So, with that in mind, consider some of the other positions Black Lives Matter has endorsed. The repeal of all immigration restrictions, for starters. They’re for that. The legalization of sex work — prostitution — they’re for that, too. The destruction of the nuclear family, your family. The forced relocation of farmland. Race-based
reparations, specifically “in the form of a guaranteed minimum livable income for all black people.”
Hear that? All black people, not just the descendants of American slaves. This would include the millions of African and Caribbean immigrants who on average now earn more than native-born Americans. Every one of these new Americans would receive a guaranteed annual income from American taxpayers in order to atone for
the sin of — for the sin of what actually? Allowing them to immigrate here?
Black Lives Matter does not explain that part. No one asked them. You could be fired for asking. What you cannot be punished for, however, is looting and burning, at least not if you’re Black Lives Matter.
Huge parts of urban landscape have been destroyed in the past month. Almost no one has been held to account for it,. Just the opposite. You’re encouraged to pretend it never happened.
In St. Louis, every rioter arrested has been released without charges. In New York, hundreds were released without bail. Same in Washington, D.C. It’s happening almost everywhere, and not just in places controlled by elected Democrats which tells you a lot.
Fort Worth, Texas, for example, is one of the few major American cities that is led by a Republican, Mayor Betsy Price. On May 31, a crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators blocked a bridge in downtown Fort Worth, when police arrived to disperse them, they threw rocks and bottles of bleach. Three police officers were injured.
The mob then went on to loot and vandalize businesses. Dozens of rioters were arrested for this. Ten days later, the city’s police chief, Ed Kraus, announced that he was dropping all charges against them.
Kraus issued a statement suggesting that the real criminals in the riot were not the rioters, but his own police officers, whom he suggested would be reined in and perhaps punished. “This is just one step on a long journey,” Kraus wrote, sounding more like a therapist than a cop.
The chief promised that his department was “committed to walking the path of reform with our community.” Kraus never bothered to explain exactly what his cops had done wrong. They were cops. That was enough.
That same day, the Fort Worth School Board issued a statement declaring, “Police practices are deeply rooted in white supremacy.” Once again, no one specified which police practices reflected white supremacy, or what that accusation even meant. It was a blanket condemnation, but it was left to hang in the air. As usual, no one in authority pushed back against it in a Republican-led city.
It’ll be interesting to know what happens to the murder rate in Fort Worth over the next year. We can guess. We’re seeing it all over the country. We’ve seen it many times through the years. When the people in charge undermine the law, violence surges.
But there is a solution to this vortex and it’s called leadership. Sixty-five years ago, politicians throughout the American South refused to submit to the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board decision. Authorities in many states simply ignored the law like it didn’t exist. Armed extremist groups filled the vacuum. They used violence to make their own laws.
Ultimately, the federal government stepped in and restored order. In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower federalized the National Guard of Arkansas. He sent troops to Little Rock to force Governor Orville Faubus to obey the law.
So the question is, where is our Justice Department? Right now? Is there a reason the DOJ hasn’t filed federal conspiracy charges against the people who organized and led these riots? It’s not as if we don’t know who they are. Their crimes are on YouTube.
You know the reason. Black Lives Matter was involved. It is politically sensitive. No prosecutor wants to be called a racist, as if it’s racist to punish people for crimes they committed.
You know what the victims of those crimes think? The old people who were beaten to the ground for trying to defend their property. The shop owners whose life savings were stolen or burned. The families of the people who were murdered during the riots, and there were quite a few of them.
No one is defending these people. No one is punishing their attackers. Nobody cares.
Imagine how they feel about that. What recourse do they have? Do they have to torch a Wendy’s or loot a Walmart to get our attention? Let’s hope not. It might be enough to have a single national leader — just one –who understands what is actually going on in this country and is brave enough to say so. That might make all the difference, and it would certainly make the political career of the person who does it.
In the fall of 1968, a teaching assistant at San Francisco State University called George Murray gave a speech endorsing racial violence. Murray urged black students to bring guns to campus and “kill all the slave masters.” Murray, by the way, was the “minister of education” in the local Black Panther Party, which was the Antifa of its time.
When administrators learned about Murray’s speech, they equivocated, but ultimately they suspended him under pressure. In response to this, a group called the Third World Liberation Front shut down the campus. Sound familiar?
They demanded the university drop all admission standards for black applicants and admit students purely on the basis of race. The administrators were paralyzed in the face of this. More than anything, they didn’t want to be called racist. The university’s president was so terrorized by it that he quit and left.
Ultimately, the leadership of San Francisco State fell to an unlikely president, a Japanese-Canadian academic called S.I. Hayakawa. Hayakawa was short, eccentric, wore thick glasses, but he was completely fearless.
On December 2, 1968, Hayakawa marched into the middle of a student protest. Rioters immediately assaulted him, but Hayakawa kept going. He climbed onto the roof of a sound truck and ripped the wires out of the loudspeaker. San Francisco State University reopened that day.
So here’s the lesson for today’s officeholders. S.I. Hayakawa became a folk hero for standing up to the mob. He was elected to the United States Senate from California. Republicans supported him. Voters did, too. They didn’t always understand him. Hayakawa wore a Scottish tam o’ shanter cap in public and never really explained why
But it didn’t matter. He was brave and honest, and voters appreciated that above all. They always do. We don’t have our Hayakawa yet. Instead, we have cowards.
Our leaders are happy to talk about everything but the collapse of the centuries’ old civilization tumbling down around them. They have no idea how little credibility they have. They have no sense of how irrelevant they have become. If you can’t tell the truth when the truth actually matters, then nothing you say matters.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter becomes more powerful and more popular with the public. Why is that happening exactly? Here’s why: Because Black Lives Matter is getting exactly what they want and that is the most basic sign of strength. Strength is the most appealing quality to voters and to people and to animals.
Three weeks ago, Black Lives Matter demanded that cities defund their police. On Monday, the mighty NYPD, the biggest police department in our nation — the most sophisticated police department in the world — bowed and announced it is abolishing its entire plainclothes division, 600 people. Gone for good because Black Lives Matter wanted it done. And now it is done.
That’s not bluffing. It’s not posturing. It’s not tweeting. That is real power. You’ll notice it did not require the usual maneuvering for Black Lives Matter to get that power. They didn’t need a team of lawyers to get it. Black Lives Matter doesn’t make legal arguments. They’re not trying to convince you of anything.
Black Lives Matter believes in force. They flood the streets with angry young people who break things, and they hurt anyone who gets in the way. When they want something, they take it. Make them mad and they will set your business on fire. Annoy them and they will occupy your downtown and declare a brand new country. You’re not going to do anything about it, they know that for certain.
This is the most destructive kind of politics. We’ve seen a lot of it in recent years. Organized groups did it to Brett Kavanaugh. The main point of slandering Kavanaugh was never to block his confirmation. We misread that. They knew they probably couldn’t achieve it.
The real point was to send Kavanaugh and John Roberts and the other Republican justices a very clear message, step out of line and we will hurt your families. And judging from recent court decisions, it worked. At times, it’s very clear that supposedly conservative justices are afraid to defy the mob.
So what message do the rest of us take from what’s happened over the past three weeks? It’s very simple. The message is force is more effective than voting. Elections changed nothing.
Rioting, by contrast, makes you rich and powerful. When you riot, prosecutors will ignore the law on your behalf. Corporations will send you millions. Politicians will kneel down before you. It works. Violence works. That’s the message.
Everyone hears that message. Until violence stops working, violence will continue.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on June 15, 2020.