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Skip Pollard: Fear mongering

As we head into the final weeks leading-up to the 2020 election, the Trump campaign and allies have ramped-up hysterical rhetoric about a Biden win leading to socialism, anarchy and suburban ruin.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, President Trump claimed “Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism” and said the election would determine whether the American way of life would be protected or “we allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it.”

Support for such doomsday predictions has included Democrats’ general support of Black Lives Matter and the Biden/Sanders unity task force as cited by Vice President Pence in his convention speech, and Trump offers no real support for his claims.



Starting with unity task force recommendations, Pence states, “Recently, Joe Biden combined forces with the socialist Bernie Sanders and the radical-left wing of the Democratic Party … (they) released a document from their unity task force outlining their agenda for the country. At the root of (their) agenda is the belief that America is driven by envy, not aspiration — that millions of Americans harbor ill-will toward their neighbors, instead of loving our neighbors as themselves.

“The radical left believes the federal government must be involved in every aspect of our lives to correct those American wrongs. They believe the federal government needs to dictate how Americans live, how we should work, how we should raise our children — and, in the process, deprive our people of freedom, prosperity, and security. Their agenda is based on government control.”



So I read the document — all 110 pages — and couldn’t find anything to support Pence’s claims. The document calls for a government that works for the American people to ensure freedom, prosperity and security that Pence claims to value, advocating a strong response to addressing climate change and creating a clean energy economy; an overhaul of the criminal justice system to ensure fair and equal justice for all Americans; an economy that works for everyone instead of one that’s heavily skewed to the wealthy and well-connected; world-class education in every zip code; universal, affordable, quality health care; and humane immigration reform.

Government control — per Pence’s reference suggests socialism, which Merriam-Webster defines as “1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. 2: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property; a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.” This is not what the Biden/Sanders plan recommends; Pence is clearly counting on people not fact-checking him.

As for Black Lives Matter — which has been branded “Marxist” by the likes of Rudy Giuliani, William Barr and Ben Carson among other Trump sycophants, and which Fox News host Tucker Carlson said is “working to remake the country and then to control it” — a review of their beliefs offers no support for such indictments.

Black Lives Matter’s website states they “began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism” and “work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.”

The position that’s been distorted to offer “proof” of a socialist agenda: “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

So what Black Lives Matter stands for at its heart is recognition of what the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution assert; that “all men are created equal” deserving “equal justice under law.” But recognition as such wouldn’t serve the Trump team agenda; Black Lives Matter makes a convenient strawman for racist fear mongering.

Thus, with no platform for a second term having been provided, an inadequate and inept response to COVID-19, an economy in distress with 20-plus million unemployed and businesses across the country in peril, Trump has resorted to fear mongering to sway voters — spreading lies while trying to kneecap the post office and suppress voter turnout while claiming the only way they’ll lose “is if it’s a rigged election.”

What we should really be afraid of is a would-be autocrat who will do anything to try and retain power.

Skip Pollard lives in Grass Valley.


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