Are the protests playing into Trump's hands?

US President Donald Trump plans to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, where protests against racism and police violence began a week ago after a police officer shot black resident Jacob Blake seven times in the back. Two people have been killed in the rioting. Commentators discuss the tense mood after last week's Republican National Convention.

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Novi list (HR) /

In Nixon's footsteps

Trump is relying on the same tactic that helped Richard Nixon get re-elected in 1972, Novi list explains:

“Protests against the Vietnam War continued across the country and it seemed that all America was against Nixon, who hadn't been able to lead the country out of the war chaos. But the protests were often violent, and that irritated the 'silent majority', who then supported the president. ... Trump's tactic is to convince as many Americans as possible that the entire country will sink into chaos if not he but his Democratic rival Joe Biden wins the election. Trump's VP Mike Pence couldn't have been clearer when he said that this vote was about voting for 'law and order'.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Playing with fire

The Democrats are doing nothing to address the unrest in the country, De Telegraaf criticises:

“The police seem unable to intervene against the screeching rioters, or are blocked by local Democratic leaders. They even refuse federal assistance. Armed militias are now being formed to protect property. The Democratic camp is blaming Republican President Donald Trump for the chaos. His approach isn't exactly one of de-escalation, but enforcing law and order is primarily the job of local politicians. ... Both camps are fueling the polarisation ... The mutual hatred is growing to such an extent that any election result will be unbearable for the losing side of the nation. In a country packed with guns, that amounts to playing with fire.”

Turun Sanomat (FI) /

More energy than Biden

US President Donald Trump was more convincing in his campaign speech than his challenger Joe Biden, Turun Sanomat comments:

“Trump's speech on Friday is giving Biden and the Democrats a big headache. Trump managed to be far more energetic and concrete than Biden was in his speech. What's more, some of the successes mentioned by Trump were even true. Biden is clearly leading in the national polls. However, the election will be decided in a few swing states. In 2016, Trump received three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, but he won the presidential electors over for the Republicans in key states.”

Aargauer Zeitung (CH) /

President has hijacked the GOP

The Republican National Convention showed who calls the shots in the party, the Aargauer Zeitung comments:

“Never has a Republican president been so popular among his own party members - and so unpopular with the opposing party. The National Convention was one big Trump cult event. The only people to speak were family members and other 100-percent loyalists. ... George W. Bush, the last Republican president, wasn't invited, and his secretary of state Colin Powell even gave a speech at the Democratic Convention. Republicans who don't consider themselves Trumpists are a dying species. The president has hijacked the party. His tweets and popularity with the party base are giving him almost unlimited power in the party.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Fomenting fears of a radical left

Trump is fighting his election campaign on the basis of dire predictions, Jutarnji list observes:

“The US president promised optimism, hope and joy for the Republican National Convention. ... But already on the first evening it became clear that his camp had opted for a different tactic: to stir up fears of a possible victory of the 'radical left' and 'Marxist activists' led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. ... Their version is that a victory for the Democrats on November 3 would turn quiet US suburbs into war zones, detainees would be released, and honest citizens would be stripped of their legally-owned guns only to be sent into quarantine because of the virus 'that the president has already successfully dealt with'.”

La Stampa (IT) /

An entrenched administration

Those who thought Trump would change his ways were mistaken, columnist Gianni Riotta explains in La Stampa:

“The first hours of the National Convention dispelled any doubts in the minds of those who believed the president was seeking a new harmony; some observers had even hoped for an 'optimistic party conference'. ... As those who have known him since his debut on the New York financial market know, Trump will win or lose. Trump, the enemy of the optimism of Eisenhower and Reagan, the pragmatism of Kissinger and Bush Senior, the neoliberal illusions of Bush Junior. ... His potential second administration will remain entrenched, like the first.”

Pravda (SK) /

The truth won't help Trump's cause

Trump needs to attack the Democrats verbally since he has no successes he can brag about, Pravda points out:

“Intuition tells him that he has to combine disproportionately high praise [of his party] with virulent attacks on the Democrats. While the motto of Biden's speech was the difference between light and darkness - read: between Democrats and Republicans - Trump spoke of the path of fate. This is, in fact, Trump's fateful journey. Although the United States is one of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus and the country is clearly not coping with the pandemic due to false and confusing statements by the president, he states that he can deal with the pandemic. Everyone knows the truth. Trump and the Republicans will not bother to tell the truth in the election campaign, however. You don't win elections with the truth.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

A referendum on the party's course

Dagens Nyheter wonders if the Republicans can ever recover after the Trump takeover:

“Trump has shown that the party can be hijacked with a populist and nationalist agenda, and others are likely to try to do the same. The party base appears to be able to tolerate anything, and those members of the old establishment who still remain have proved to be cowardly and weak. Nothing says a successor must be as chaotic as Trump, for that reason he could also be more effective than the latter. Perhaps a major defeat in November could change the Republicans' minds. So in fact the election will be a referendum on Trump as well as on the party's course.”