Feature 11.02.2020 14 minutes

To Stop the Coupsters, Divide and Conquer


Trump has a clear path to victory over the Antifa/BLM insurgency and its masters.

Joe Biden has stumbled into handing President Donald Trump an inadvertent gift. If he plays things right, Trump can splinter the unnaturally broad coalition against him and turn state and local Democrats against their own party’s national machine.

Biden has backed himself into a lose-lose situation that’s ripe for autumn picking. Far past his prime, Biden is now a Trojan Horse for extremists backed by a virtual Manchurian Candidate running mate.

His handlers have built a tactical alliance so extreme that, with a little push from the president, it will collapse and the broad center of the electorate will be his.

Excessive focus on a rival’s strength misplaces priorities and saps resources and morale. So let’s put aside Joe Biden’s greatest political assets—the permanent federal bureaucracy, the Swamp that feeds off the taxpayer, the mainstream media, most big labor unions, community organizing networks, and so forth—and look at the vulnerabilities.

Here we can identify the weak nodes for our unorthodox president to exploit in the time remaining before—and after—November 3rd. By striking at those weak nodes to make Biden’s central support base collapse, Trump can win a second term to take on the unaccountable bureaucracy, the Swamp, and those dependent on both for their very survival.

Vulnerability #1: Biden’s Extremist Auxiliary

Biden, Kamala Harris, and allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer haven’t denounced Antifa by name for a reason: Antifa and its BLM allies are the shock troops of the anti-Trump movement.

The Democrats don’t love the rioters, and the rioters want to overthrow the whole American system, Republicans and Democrats alike. But, as in any form of warfare, the Biden camp unofficially considers Antifa/BLM tactical allies until November 3—or more likely, until the official electoral count is dragged into January 2021 to provoke a constitutional crisis.

It took 94 days of rioting in Portland, Oregon, before Biden, after a targeted assassination of a Trump supporter and presumably bad internal poll results, finally made a public statement condemning the violence. Even then, he didn’t condemn the rioters specifically. He made a firm-sounding but wishy-washy statement against violence from all sides.

And no Democrat leader has denounced Antifa by name, while many have openly embraced BLM. This reveals the tacit tactical alliance and betrays the Democrats’ fear of a Trump electoral victory: The mainstream Democrat Party needs extremist shock troops and can do nothing to alienate them.

On the more “progressive” and still-not-violent side reside entrenched cadres of old radicals from the 1960s and ’70s who were like Antifa and worse: people like Angela Davis, the Black Liberation Movement extremist who bought the sawed-off shotgun used to murder a California judge, spent a year in prison, and pioneered today’s movement to abolish prisons and de-fund the police. Unrepentant even today, she continues to push for the releases of cop-killers from American prisons.

Davis, trained and given a PhD during the Cold War by the East German regime, went on to run twice as vice presidential candidate of the Kremlin-controlled Communist Party USA. Last June, she utilized Vladimir Putin’s RT channel to call for her large following to vote for Biden, despite all his flaws, because the 2020 election, in her words, “will be about choosing a candidate who can be most effectively pressured” to bow to the violent extremist movement.

Davis sees Biden as weak and malleable: “Biden is far more likely to take mass demands seriously.” A vote for Biden, said Davis, is a vote for Communists and the broader movement to overthrow the American system: “To vote for ourselves means that we will have to campaign for a vote for Biden.”

Die-hard Communists like Davis populate academia, “progressive” politics, the legal profession, and the community organizer movement, whose regimented and relentless shrillness causes normal Democrats and others to shut up and go along. They shape minds, silence opponents among mainstream Democrat ranks, and turn out votes. They are popular with certain rich progressive megadonors. Biden, who once would have rejected their support, now cannot afford to alienate them.

This is perfect for Trump. He can clearly link Biden to domestic violent extremists who wreck cities and towns, destroy local businesses, hate the police, and terrorize normal Americans.

Trump can also dispel two of his opponents’ narratives by showing them to be projections of their own actions: Those who accuse him of trampling the Constitution are joined to radicals who really do seek to overthrow the United States Constitution; the discredited Russian collusion narrative is, in fact, another projection from people aligned with known Kremlin-controlled assets who use Putin’s own RT channel to spread their message.

Biden is going to have to go along with the Angela Davises and other Communists who support him because to denounce them, he’ll be caving into Trump and lose face among the progs. Therefore, Trump must push Biden to reject their endorsements. Lose-lose for Biden.

Vulnerability #2: State and Local Democrats

Normal Democrats at the town, city, and state levels of most of America—especially in the swing states—want nothing to do with any flag-burning, Marxist, cop-hating radicals. If Antifa starts wrecking their towns, they will want all the help they can get.

Any president should extend a welcoming hand to any state or town in trouble. This is not a partisan issue and never should be. In terms of defeating extralegal attempts to manipulate the democratic process, the policy is an excellent way of splitting the opposition by pitting the actual victims of Biden’s private army at the state and local levels in Middle America against the Democrats’ national machine. Trump should continue to remind people that he has repeatedly offered—and in some cases been repeatedly denied—such assistance and promise to continue to do so.

Vulnerability #3: Federalism and Restraint

Trump’s political opponents have invested heavily in calling him an authoritarian, a dictator, and even a fascist. His initial options to deploy federal forces—almost sending the 82nd Airborne into Washington, D.C. and dispatching paramilitary Department of Homeland Security and other federal personnel in Portland—gave his enemies the scary imagery they wanted to justify their street violence on the one hand, and the Biden camp’s increasingly shrill accusations on the other.

Ultimately, Trump gave the country a lesson in federalism, using restraint to allow the pro-anarchy jurisdictions to stew in their own filth, offering to help in any way possible upon request but not sending in federal forces unilaterally. This denied the extremists the scary imagery—and probable bloody provocations—that they no doubt had planned, and put opposition mayors and governors in the difficult political positions of asking Trump himself for support.

The swing states in normal America are perfect places for local Democrats to buck the party machine and for the president to provide support upon request. After the rampage in Kenosha, WI, the city mayor and state governor—both Democrats—asked Trump for federal law enforcement and other assistance, which the president promptly provided.

Hit Them at their Weak Points

Now that we have identified the basic weak points of the Biden-RINO-Communist-Antifa coalition, we can look at some tried-and-true methods of dealing with such political adversaries. They are fairly simple.

Don’t give the opposition the imagery it’s trying to provoke. Nothing will unite Trump’s Democrat/Antifa opponents better than a visible, violent federal crackdown. Images are vital to show that Trump is a fascist and a dictator and so forth. As gratifying as it might be to stomp and teargas some anarcho-Communist freaks, the president must continue to deny his adversaries those images.

These “peaceful protests” are likely to intensify in the next days and weeks. Dealing with them will be tricky. No federal security force is equipped or trained to deal with the magnitude of what the Left has planned. It’s wisest to leave law and order to state and local authorities, offer help constantly, and provide help only when asked.

The only exception here is Washington, D.C., whose mayor has cordoned off a two-block Antifa/BLM staging area across Lafayette Park from the White House, and fortified it with concrete barricades. Since the District of Columbia is the seat of the federal government, the President has a right to take federal control over the city police. He has considered this before, and should do so if and when the riots re-ignite as planned in D.C.

Divide the Democrats’ unnatural alliance of convenience. After taking care to avoid uniting his fragmented opposition, the president must exploit their differences to divide and defeat them. He can put them in a lose-lose situation regardless of what they do.

Divide the rioters from their Democrat political supporters, and divide the Democrats against one another. This entire insurgency is united and has a very broad base that includes the political mainstream. Democrats will not denounce the violent extremists. A U.S. counterinsurgency strategy must split the Democrats from the insurgency and from one another, pit Democrat mayors and governors against Biden and the national machine, and ultimately maneuver Biden into either defending or betraying his extremist funding/activist base. Lose-lose.

Designate Antifa as an international terrorist network. Terrorism is not just Islamists and white supremacists with guns and bombs. Antifa exists to terrorize. Designation can be done administratively. It will subject any individual, company, or foundation providing any type of material support to Antifa operations to federal prosecution as material supporters of terrorism. US intelligence on Antifa is poor, but Germany has quality information that the administration can use to support its designation. This designation will peel elements of the Biden camp visibly away from Antifa and cause the anti-Trump movement to fight itself.

Help any city or state that requests help. This is sound policy for any present. Any state or local jurisdiction whose elected leaders request federal help should receive it. As with the Chinese Virus pandemic, Trump provided support for any jurisdiction that requested assistance. He did not force a nationalized solution on everyone. The governors of New York and California requested Trump for help, received it, and thanked him for it. President Trump is already federal anti-riot help to any locality requesting it. Some afflicted states happen to be swing states. If things go badly, will have Trump helped with good intent at the request of the state and local authorities. If things go well, he gets the credit.

Blame the radical mayors and governors and make them pay the price. The federal government has no obligation to prevent cities and states from willfully destroying themselves. These are not federal matters. State and local politicians should be accountable, and the people who voted them should be the ones to pay. A president can’t force them out of their regrettable situation. Nor should he subsidize them with resources from other taxpayers.

Hold mayors and governors responsible for defending federal facilities. Take some hits. If the violent extremists under their jurisdiction destroy federal property, let them do it so that everyone can see. That also shows restraint. After the destruction, the feds should send the culpable cities and governors the bill for damages and reconstruction.

Execute the September 2 memorandum. The president instructed the attorney general and Office of Management and Budget to review funding “to state and local government recipients that are permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction in American cities.” The September 2 memorandum gave the Justice Department and OMB 14 days to come up with criteria and lists to begin cutting all federal funds to jurisdictions that allow the destruction. New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland are some of the logical places to start. The cuts should be high-profile and immediate.

Refer to all the mayhem as “Biden’s America.” Be relentless with the theme, calibrating wording and actions to peel away as many politicians and influence leaders from Biden, and promote infighting and demoralization within the militant elements of the Biden camp. Biden will have placed himself in a losing position no matter what he does.

Use federal investigative and law enforcement to break up interstate conspiracies and operations. These are quiet and normal non-political activities that help maintain law and order, and work in partnership with state and local authorities. They also do not necessarily require state and local approval for pursuit of certain criminals, and can therefore allow a federal defense of areas that otherwise refuse assistance. The feds can also help local authorities make the busts.

One of the keys is to empower local field offices of the FBI and cut out two of the most noxious layers of bureaucracy that FBI director Robert Mueller added to headquarters in the 2000s. A lot of first-rate, dedicated field agents and analysts are out there and should be empowered to do their jobs. The president will need to appoint some of the former FBI field agents who quit in disgust over the past few years, and detail them to his personal National Security Council staff and to the office of the Attorney General to serve as Sherpas in navigating the administration through the bureaucracy at headquarters and among field offices.

Prepare for a messy White House siege. Militants seem to have called off a 50-day “Siege of the White House” from mid-September through election day. But as election day draws closed, the administration must be prepared for one. The Secret Service was obviously caught off-guard by Antifa/BLM’s mob action over the summer to occupy Lafayette Park across from the White House, tear down historic statues, and possibly storm the White House. It did fence off sections near the presidential residence and offices, but the fencing was flimsy and crowd-control forces seemed ill-prepared.

On the other side of Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has maintained her months-old BLM staging area on 16th Street, larger than three football fields and cordoned off with concrete barricades. This staging area remains—and the pro-Biden labor union headquarters in that closed area remain boarded up, as if anticipating another round of violence.

This is one of the reasons why Trump must federalize the D.C. Police and National Guard to strip the mayor of any instruments of enforcement or force. D.C. has a special legal status as the seat of the federal government, so Trump would not be abusing presidential authority. Trump should shut down the BLM staging area and set up a concentric series of layered perimeters extending several blocks beyond the White House in all directions. Federal authorities can use D.C. Police to enforce local anti-vagrancy laws to prevent encampments from turning into autonomous zones or worse.

Those preparations will deny the D.C. government the ability to permit any “siege” to take place, and empower Trump to protect the integrity of the White House, the neighboring Treasury and Veterans’ Affairs departments, and other federal facilities from what is certain to be a seething and violent mob encampment. Firehoses spiked with pepper spray, K9 units, sound cannons, and other methods will form the first extended layers of defense and limit bloody, military-style incidents and imagery that the opposition needs.

Above all, explaining soberly to the public that White House as an institution is under attack, and explaining that certain politicians support what is effectively a coup d’état in league with Communists and cop-killers, will provoke more extremism and infighting within the Biden camp—and alienate it from its normal Blue voter base.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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