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From The New York Times, I'm Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily. As protests and unrest over racial justice and policing continue to erupt across the U.S., these radicals are not content with marching in the streets.
These are the people who will be in charge of your future and the future of your children.
Speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention this week, when we don't have basic safety and security in our communities, we'll never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children or for our country.
Have put them at the center of their appeal to a key group of voters.
They're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities. They want to abolish the suburbs altogether.
Today, my colleague Emily Badger on the power of the suburban vote.
If you're a traditional Democrat who's become disillusioned with how radical your party has become, then stand with us. You are most welcome.
And the Republican Party's pitch to win it back. It's Wednesday, August twenty six. Emily, you have been thinking a lot about the upcoming election and how suburban America fits into it. Why are we hearing so much about that demographic right now at the Republican National Convention? Because it feels like such a specific and explicit form of outreach.
So suburban voters have really been the focal point of presidential elections going all the way back to the 1960s. We have seen this pattern over time where it's increasingly clear that voters in cities are going to vote, Democratic rural voters are going to vote Republican. All of the suspense, the whole ballgame is in the suburbs. And so, you know, these are the voters that we have been fighting over for a very long time. And so it's not surprising that coming down to the last couple of months of this election that these are the voters that we're talking about.
Right. So when we think about Purple America, swing America, we're really talking about the suburbs. That's right. Well, where does that story of politics and the suburbs start?
Well, I have been thinking a lot this year about 1968 in particular.
1968 was this really pivotal year for a lot of reasons in American politics. We think about what was happening in the country at that moment. Good evening.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Thirty nine years old and a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the leader of the nonviolent civil rights movement in the United States was assassinated in Memphis tonight.
Martin Luther King gets assassinated in the first week of April by police reports that the murder has touched off sporadic acts of violence in a Negro section of the city. There is a wave of civil unrest that happens not just in one or two cities, but in more than 100 cities across the country. Police report having made more than 600 arrests over half the year, still in custody. Three deaths have been reported so far. Some of the worst trouble of the day occurred in Washington, D.C., the very heart of the nation in some Negro ghettos that was looting, arson and bloodshed during the night.
Four thousand National Guard and federal troops are in this uneasy town tonight.
Shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in their hand. Richard Butler point around here. And to issue a police order, they want to show the or cripple anyone looting?
Well, I'm saddened and angered by what had happened. We've marked the death of a man of peace, a man of goodwill with blood and violence, destruction and death. I believe that law and order must prevail. And I am angered by the very description that I've seen in both Washington and Baltimore. I never believe this is going to happen in our nation's capital or in my city.
Out of this moment, there really emerges, you know, this very strong backlash, particularly among white middle class suburban voters against all of this unrest and against a sense that there's crime and there's violence and we're fed up with it. We just want order. And as a reminder, what do the suburbs in America look like at this point in the 1960s? Because my sense is that the concept of a suburb. Right, these kind of planned communities on the edges of cities, tidy yards, white picket fences, that that's kind of new in this moment.
Yeah. So we see this huge explosion of suburbia after World War Two.
At last, the brilliance of all the space they need and the people who are able to move to suburbia in that moment are not sort of representative of the entire American population, very specific groups of people who get to go home.
They've always dreamed of the happiest investment they have ever made.
So it's primarily white residents who get to go. The separate dining room is another feature that delights Margaret Bryant in her new home, or it permits her to enjoy her good wine, entertaining graciously.
It's primarily middle class and upper income white residents who get to go.
The patio, easily reached through sliding glass doors, provides an outdoor living room ideal for separate activities.
So in this moment in the 1960s, when we talk about the suburbs, they are racially exclusionary by design. It is intentional that African-Americans cannot move out there at that point.
This is how American families are living in their new home. And so the civil rights movement begins to threaten that sense of exclusion, because now we're talking about busing. Now we're talking about fair housing. We're talking about whether or not it's fair for homeowners to be able to say, I don't want to have black neighbors, for realtors to say I don't want to work with black homebuyers. And at the same moment, we also see the rise of a number of politicians who are themselves sort of suburban politicians who figure out how to give voice to that anxiety, how to take this growing group of the electorate who live in the suburbs and turn them into a voting bloc where you are speaking directly to their concerns about their own suburban security.
And of course, 1968 is a presidential election year. So how do we see all of that play out? So in recent years, crime in this country has grown nine times as fast as population.
We see Richard Nixon increasingly make law and order a centerpiece of his stump speeches.
We owe it to the decent and law abiding citizens of America to take the offensive against the criminal forces that threaten their peace and their security.
And he is talking more and more about crime.
I pledge to you the wave of crime is not going to be the wave of the future in America spending more money on the police.
Dissent is a necessary ingredient of change, but in a system of government that provides for peaceful change, there is no cause that justifies resort to violence.
Sort of speaking to these issues about, you know, how you should be able to protect what you have earned as a kind of hardworking American who's bought your way into the suburbs.
Let us recognize that the first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence.
You should be able to protect that without fear that all of this chaos that's happening in cities is going to come to your doorstep.
So I pledge to you we shall have order in the United States. And then we get to. The Republican National Convention in 1968 in my. All right, thank you very much. Which is actually taking place at a moment when there is unrest happening in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami.
We make history tonight not for ourselves, but for the ages.
And Richard Nixon gives the speech where he talks about as we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame.
We hear sirens in the night, cities enveloped in smoke and flame.
We see Americans hating each other, fighting each other, killing each other at home.
And he devotes a long passage to talking about law and order.
The American Revolution was and is dedicated to progress, but our founders recognized that the first requisite of progress is order. And one of the things that's most striking to me about that speech is he even says to those who say that law and order is the code word for racism there.
And here is the reply.
This emphasis on law and order is not racist.
Our goal is justice, justice for every American. If we are to have respect for law in America, we must have laws that deserve respect. Just as we cannot have progress without order, we cannot have order without progress. And so as we come into order tonight, let us commit the progress.
He's giving white suburbanites permission to be upset, to be fearful.
He's giving them not only permission, but he's giving them a language to talk about their grievances. That doesn't sound like the language of racism. It sounds instead like the language of property values and quality schools and security and prosperity.
For the past five years, we have been deluged by government programs for the unemployed, programs for the cities, program for the poor. And we have ripped from these programs an ugly harvest of frustration, violence and failure across the land.
And he also sort of says that he is speaking to it is the quiet voice in the tumult of the shouting.
It is the voice of the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans, the non shouters, the non demonstrators, the forgotten and the silent Americans who are not demonstrating.
Those people who are sort of silently watching everything that's happening in America from their quiet neighborhoods in the suburbs. Those are the people who he wants to speak to.
They're not racist. They're sick. They're not guilty of the crime that plagues the land. They are black and they're white.
Right. And this is where we get that phrase that Nixon uses in 1968. And you've begun to hint at it. The silent majority. Right.
And Emily, what is our understanding of the role that this strategy ultimately played in that election, 1968 is this year when suburban voters deliver the presidency to Richard Nixon and suburban voters and their preferences become central to American politics. And they have largely been central to presidential elections ever since then.
So how do we see that play out in the years that follow? So after 1968, as it becomes clear that suburban voters are the swing voters, the pivotal voters in American elections, their concerns come to dominate not just what the Republican Party is doing, but also what the Democratic Party is doing. And so these are themes that we hear from Ronald Reagan.
Crime is an American epidemic. It takes the lives of 25000 Americans, it touches nearly one third of American households. There are also themes that we hear from Bill Clinton.
Let us roll up our sleeves to roll back this awful tide of violence and reduce crime in our country. We have the tools now. Let us get about the business of using them.
And this carries us all the way through to 2016 when Donald Trump comes on the scene. We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African-Americans, Hispanics are living in hell because it's so dangerous, you walk down the street, you get shot. Right.
And I feel like when most people think about the 2016 campaign, they probably think about Trump's language and his message around immigration.
But it wasn't just limited to that.
I covered the 2016 Republican National Convention and I remember that Trump I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets, explicitly modeled his message that year on Richard Nixon's message from 1968 and that he was not bashful about.
When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.
I actually wrote a story about this, and around that time Trump said, I'm going to quote from him. I think what Nixon understood is that when the world is falling apart, people want a strong leader whose highest priority is protecting America first. The 60s were bad, really bad, and it's really bad now. Americans feel like it's chaos again.
I mean, he picked up these themes in twenty sixteen in such a forceful way that almost felt kind of discordant with what was going on around us in America at the time.
You look at Baltimore, you look at the violence that's taking place in the inner cities. Chicago, you take a look at Washington, D.C., we have a increase in murder.
So he was speaking a lot about, you know, this tremendous crime spikes. There were some cities where crime was increasing at the time, but we were still in one of the lowest crime areas that we've had in decades in America. Right.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
But it remains true at the same time that even his crime has fallen precipitously in America.
Fears about crime and law and order have always remained really strong for many people. And we consistently see in polling across time that Americans believe that crime is increasing even when it's declining, that they believe that it is worse than it really is. So it is possible for Trump to tap into those fears. I think even in a moment where it looks like crime is at a historic low. Mm hmm.
And Emily, what do we know about how this message in 2016 landed in the suburbs?
So the 2016 election is, again, most closely fought in the suburbs. Trump gets wiped out in big cities and in the densest places in America. Hillary Clinton fares even worse in rural America than Barack Obama did. And then in these in-between places in the suburbs, it is incredibly closely contested to the point where whether or not Trump won the suburbs is heavily dependent on exactly how you define them. And so this launches us into the Trump administration itself. When white, college educated suburban women in these highly educated suburban districts wind up being pivotal to the backlash against Trump, they wind up giving Democrats control of the House of Representatives in the twenty eighteen midterms.
So that would seem to set up the suburban white woman voter as an essential, maybe the essential demographic for the 20 20 presidential race.
It's clear in twenty eighteen that as Trump has lost a lot of support, particularly among white women, among white suburban women, that if he is going to gain ground in the 2020 election, he's going to need to win some of those women back. So we see that coming. We know that that's going to be an issue in 2020. But I think what we don't see coming.
For me, the point is that we're going to be back in this moment a couple months before the 2020 election, where we are again talking about racial unrest in the United States, just like in 1968, I think if you're Donald Trump, you look at this moment and that's what you think. Be careful what you commit to HBO's new documentary series, The Vow offers an inside look at Nexium, the self-improvement group whose participants have claimed both profound transformation and devastating abuse through exclusive footage and interviews with former members.
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Good evening, I'm Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and on behalf of everyone in our party and President Trump, thank you for tuning in as we kick off this historic convention.
So, you know, Emily, I was watching the Republican National Convention on the opening night and having heard you now explain the messaging from the RNC in 1968, it's sort of astonishing just how much the messaging from the RNC in 2020 hits the same notes.
There are these exact same themes and even identical language about it's almost like this election is shaping up to be church work in school versus rioting, looting and vandalism.
City's on fire, looting, vandalism. We don't have law and order. We need to restore law and order. And it's coming from law.
And Order is on the ballot speaker. They call it defunding. And it's a danger to our cities, our neighborhoods and our children.
After speaker, look at what's happening in American cities, cities all run by Democrats, crime, violence and mob rule after speaker.
It's really a theme that they return to throughout the night. And it's embedded in this idea that this is what will happen in a Democratic administration. We're seeing all of this chaos in cities that are run by Democratic mayors that have long been strongholds of Democratic politicians.
Just take a look at California. It is a place of immense wealth, immeasurable innovation, an immaculate environment. And the Democrats turned it into a land of discarded heroin, needles in parks, riots in streets and blackouts in homes.
And if we give Democrats control of the entire country, this is what you can expect in your community where you live, too.
And it felt like the sort of ultimate example of this was this couple from St. Louis who were given a prime speaking spot on the first night of the Republican convention. This is the couple who back in June drew a lot of attention when images surfaced of them standing in the front of their mansion pointing guns at protesters as those protesters walked in front of the couple's house on their way to a protest in front of the local mayor's house.
Yeah, so this was a segment and a pair of speakers who I don't think we could have expected to see in any prior Republican National Convention.
We have this couple. Good evening, America, Mark and Patricia McCloskey. We are Mark and Patti McClosky.
We're speaking with you tonight from St. Louis, Missouri, where just weeks ago you may have seen us defending our home as a mob of protesters descended on our neighborhood and they live on a gated, very upscale street in St. Louis that's technically inside the city, but has very much sort of the trappings of suburbia. And they're speaking to us from what looks like a couch in their living room or their sitting room. And they're both wearing blazers.
Not a single person in the out of control mob you saw at our house was charged with a crime. But you know who was we were they've actually charged us with felonies for daring to defend our home. And one of the things that was most striking to me about their segment was that in contrast to a lot of the other politicians who spoke with really sort of forceful rhetoric, they had this calming presence. What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country.
And that's what we want to speak to you about tonight.
That's exactly right. Even as they were saying, you need to worry about mobs coming for you in your quiet neighborhood around the country.
And it is Patricia McClosky who specifically tells us they're not satisfied with spreading the chaos and violence into our communities.
Not only do Democrats want to spread chaos into the suburbs, they want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single family homes.
Owning this forest rezoning would bring crime, lawlessness and low quality apartments and are now thriving suburban neighborhoods. They want to make it such that you can't have sort of your nice, quiet suburban neighborhood full of single family houses. The Democrats have brought us nothing but destruction.
When we don't have basic safety and security in our communities. We'll never be free to build a brighter future for ourselves, for our children or for our country. That's what's at stake in this election. And that's why we must re-elect Donald Trump. So here, again, as in 1968, we have a focus on housing regulations as a way of talking about this.
Yeah, when she says that the Democrats want to abolish the suburbs, she is alluding to a piece of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Again, we're coming back to nineteen sixty eight that the Obama administration had adopted a rule trying to encourage communities all over the country, not just the suburbs, to embrace integration. And earlier this summer, the Trump administration rolled back that rule and Trump announced that the suburban Housewives of America should be thrilled that I have done this and you're very quality of life you will not have control over at the federal government will come in and remake your neighborhood.
The other parallel that felt most over to me, Emily, was this recurring message that all this talk, as in 1968, is not racist. But in this case, it wasn't the Republican nominee. It wasn't Donald Trump saying this. It was Republicans of color. It was, for example, Kim Classic.
My name is Kim Classic, and I'm running for Congress and Maryland's 7th District, a black woman running for Congress in Baltimore. And she's running on a message that Democrats have let Baltimore down.
Sadly, the same cycle of decay exists and many of America's Democrat run cities. And yet the Democrats still assume that black people will vote for them no matter how much they let us down and take us for granted. We're sick of it. We're not going to take it anymore. And we also heard a similar message from Tim Scott.
We live in a world that only wants you to believe in the bad news racially, economically and culturally polarizing news. The truth is, our nations are always bends back towards fairness.
A black senator from South Carolina and from Nikki Haley in much of the Democratic Party, it's now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country. This is personal for me.
Who is of Indian descent and who was Trump's ambassador to the United Nations. Yeah, we also heard something similar from Herschel Walker, who is the former football player who has had this very long running, almost four decade long relationship with Donald Trump, who's also African-American, and effectively said it hurt my soul to hear a terrible name that people call Donald.
The worst one is racist, I take it, as an insult. The people would think I've had a 37 year friendship with the racist. People think they don't know what they're talking about, you know, I am offended by the idea that anyone would think that I have been friends with a racist for the last thirty seven years just because someone loves and respect the flag, our national anthem in our country doesn't mean they don't care about social justice.
I care about all of those things. So does Donald Trump. So, Emily, from Trump's point of view, this strategy would seem to have a very solid track record. So is there any reason to think that it would not work now in twenty twenty?
One big reason is that the suburbs themselves have changed dramatically since the 1960s. The women who live in the suburbs today are much more racially diverse. They're more economically diverse. When we talk about suburban voters in suburbia today, it is much less clear exactly who we're talking about because it's no longer just middle class and upper income white voters who are living in these communities. There's poverty in these communities. There are immigrant communities who live in the suburbs. And so this is not the voting block that Richard Nixon was speaking to in 1968 or the voting block that it seems like Donald Trump has in mind.
But the other reason why I think we should be really skeptical is that we see in polling data that voters in the suburbs today, majorities of them, are supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement. They're supportive of these protests. They are even participating in these protests. And so they're really sort of not necessarily receptive to the issues that Trump is trying to elevate. But he's also trying to get them to focus on a set of issues which are not their primary concern right now.
I mean, between the pandemic and the collapse of the economy and millions of Americans losing their health care as a result of that. You know, those are the three issues that really sit at the top of suburban voters and female voters concerns when we ask them what they're concerned about right now.
Mm hmm. But it does seem like there might be an X factor here that Donald Trump has been priming suburban voters for. And an example of that would be what's going on right now in Wisconsin.
Where there are protests against the shooting of a black man, Jacob Blak, and those protests have turned into fires and looting for the first time for me to a number on top of the situation that we have had in cities like Portland.
And could it be that the polling that you're referring to is not quite up to date and that there may be voters who hear the president talking at this convention and thinking themselves, I do support Black Lives Matter. But I don't support this, I don't support what I'm seeing on my television screen in places like Kenosha, Wisconsin.
I think the biggest unknown over the next two months, which could play to the president's advantage, is that there will be more kenosis. And I think we don't know at this point how more scenes like that might change or erode public opinion about these issues in the months to come. But I think that in order for this strategy to work for Trump, suburban women need to not only become concerned about these scenes, but they have to believe that their own neighborhoods are threatened in this moment.
And the question is, will suburban voters really see it that way in 2020 or has simply too much changed since 1968? Sixty. Emily, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Yeah, thanks for the conversation. We'll be right back. Third, Love believes there is no substitute for comfort with one of a kind. Details like memory foam cups, no slip straps and breathable fabrics, their bras and underwear focus on keeping you comfortable and supported in 80 sizes, including 1/2 cups.
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First Lady Melania Trump confronted a topic that has been largely missing from the proceedings so far the painful impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one, and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you're not alone.
The first lady focused much of her speech on appealing to women and mothers by seeking to portray her husband as their protector to mothers and parents everywhere.
Your warriors in my husband, you have a president who will not stop fighting for you and your families. I see how hard he works each day and night. And despite the unprecedented attacks from the media and opposition, he will not give up. In fact, if you tell him he cannot be done, he just works harder.
And on Tuesday, in a sign of the pandemic's ongoing economic toll, American Airlines said it would furlough 19000 workers when its federal financial aid, which totaled nearly six billion dollars, comes to an end this fall. By October, the airline will have reduced its workforce by 30 percent.
Americans rivals Delta and United say that they, too, may need to cut jobs this fall. The announcements are likely to increase pressure on Congress to pass new economic relief, something that lawmakers have been unable to do for weeks.
That's it for the day, I'm Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow. Would you pay 100 dollars for a six pack of beer, could you, as climate change disrupts global agriculture? We're approaching a future where everyday items, including beer, will be far more expensive. Of course, beer will be the least of our problems. The economic consequences of climate change will make 2020 look small in comparison. That's why fat tire amber ale is now America's first national carbon neutral certified beer.
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