Return of the Dog Whistle

Last week, Donald Trump proclaimed himself “the law and order candidate.” If he would apply that to ISIS as well as domestic upheaval, and stick tenaciously to the theme, he would win. But of course, Trump never sticks to anything for long.

Rep. James Clyburn responded to Trump in predictable fashion:

Wednesday on MSNBC, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s claim of being “the law and order candidate” was a “dog whistle” to white supremacists. …

He added, “When I heard Mr. Trump several days ago saying that, ‘I am the law and order candidate,’ that, to me, was more a dog whistle. That, to me, was using the bull horn to send messages out to people.”

For a while I thought we were re-living the 1970s, with Carter era stagnation and weakness. Now we seem to be moving back in time to the 1960s. That was when the Democrats first tried to claim that “law and order” is code for racism. The Democrats lost that one. It turned out that Americans really do care about upholding the law, and really are opposed to crime.

So now the Democrats want to re-enact their losing strategy, believing, apparently, that this time it will win for them. If I were a Democrat, I would attempt an intervention. But I am not a Democrat, so I am happy–well, not happy, since the whole thing is inexpressibly sad–but willing to let them go down the same sterile path to defeat.