The Return Of Dog Whistle Politics

I suppose it was only a matter of time before Donald Trump trotted out that old Republican standby, dog whistle politics. In this era of increased sensitivity about racial issues, politicians have been reluctant to sound too harsh on the subject of race. In the 1960's, George Wallace and Richard Nixon hid behind the slogan "law and order" to signify that THEY wouldn't let "them" get away with committing all manner of crimes and going unpunished. Those pointy-headed liberal judges who sent known criminals back into their communities to unleash mayhem would be replaced by strong law and order judges who would put "them" in their place, namely jail. None of that Miranda nonsense for George and Tricky Dicky! And lo and behold, Donald Trump has masterminded a remarkable transformation and turned himself into Tricky Donny!!

The interesting thing is that these law and order candidates are the first ones to ignore what the law enforcement professionals have been begging for for decades, namely gun control. Donald Trump expresses solidarity with the nation's law enforcement professionals. He's concerned over the rising incidence of violence directed at our country's police forces. But then he joins with the National Rifle Association in opposing ANY regulation of firearms or gun ammunition, which, by the way, includes armor piercing shells designed specifically for penetrating the protective armament worn by police professionals in harm's way. I emphasize the word any because, as I have written so often, I'm NOT a firearms prohibitionist. But those policemen in Dallas were killed and wounded with a highly sophisticated, extraordinarily powerful weapon that wreaked havoc on their bodies. Should the Second Amendment protect the right of mentally unstable individuals in getting their hands on what can only be called weapons of mass destruction?

Over and above this flagrant ignorance of the desires of law enforcement professionals for intelligent and sane firearms regulation, there remains the REAL dog whistle that is heard loud and clear when a politician trots out that old bromide "law and order", namely race. Notice, these politicians never SAY what's REALLY on their minds. They don't have to. They are acutely aware that most Americans associate law and order with people of color. Oh, I can hear the cry that I'm being unfair, that I am misconstruing what Donald Trump is really trying to say. But think about it for a minute. When black men are shot down by police officers under questionable circumstances, we see neither hide nor hair of the Donald Trumps of this world. They're too busy advocating the construction of walls to keep OTHER people of color out of this country. But when a black man shoots down white cops, Donald Trump straps on his shooting irons, dusts off his white hat and shines up his badge to declare himself the law and order candidate.

The thing is, there is NOBODY out there advocating that we treat lawbreakers with a sweet regard for their tender feelings. There isn't a public official in this country who wants to see more cops shot down in the street. There isn't a single office holder in this country who wants to treat homicidal maniacs brandishing weapons of mass destruction with kid gloves. Donald Trump tells us he's the law and order candidate, but just what does THAT mean. Is he going to appoint Supreme Court justices who will blithely ignore the Bill of Rights? Will he find a way to put a cop on every corner to keep us safe? Will he work to keep the weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of genuine villains bent on wreaking destruction and spreading bloodshed all across the United States? Just what does Mr. Trump MEAN when he says he's for law and order? We're ALL for law and order. My apartment was robbed. I've witnessed armed shootouts on the streets of Chicago. I certainly don't want to see the law breakers of this world literally get away with murder. But the only way we're going to intelligently attack crime in this country is with a well reasoned plan of action that will utilize all the tools at our disposal. Wrapping yourself in a bloodied shirt to express solidarity with those people assigned to protect us from the criminal element in this country will accomplish NOTHING!

But then, how can I be surprised by anything Donald Trump says or does? The sad fact is that the man is a blowhard. He will attack the problem of crime in America with all the breath left in his lungs, or should I just say with all the hot air at his disposal. Richard Nixon didn't eliminate crime with HIS cries for law and order, in fact, he contributed to our nation's crime statistics himself. For all George Wallace's rhetoric about pointy headed liberals, he was ultimately crippled by a nut with a gun. America doesn't need more useless speeches and ill considered vilifications from a man who has never done anything to address the country's problems before. So go back to Trump Tower Mr. Blowhard. You should be perfectly safe THERE!!

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