While Democrats never run out of things to blame conservatives for, the latest will be a stretch even to their stifled imaginations.
In a stunning and baffling speech, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson blamed “right-wing extremism” for the crime infecting his city. The mayor asserted that right-wing extremism has “targeted democratically run cities,” especially those that “people of color lead.” Johnson further contended that “right-wing extremists” aim to create “division and chaos because that is what that particular political party has been about.”
Even more puzzling, Johnson went on to claim, “It is the same party that wouldn’t accept that President Obama was actually an American. It’s the same Republican right-wing extremism that stormed the capital, and it’s the same right-wing extremism that refuses to accept the results of the civil war. It’s raggedy. It’s disrespectful. It’s mean-spirited.”
There’s a lot to unpack in Johnson’s rant.
First, there has been no Republican mayor of Chicago since William Hale Thompson held the office in 1931. Chicago’s leadership has been in the hands of 56 Democrat mayors over the 90 years since Thompson left the position. That means that as far as Chicago is concerned, Republicans’ hands are clean. The city’s failures are the failures of its own Democrat leadership.
Next, let’s deconstruct his claim that Republicans “wouldn’t accept that Obama was American.” The “birther” theory claimed that Barack Obama, who served as the 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, was not born in the United States and, therefore, was ineligible to be president. Many political figures used the theory to question the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency. While Republicans like Trump used it as an argument, it’s important to remember that many in the Hillary Clinton campaign camp circulated the rumor in 2008 to help her win the nomination against Obama. In 2016, Trump walked back his “birther” claims, and Americans had largely forgotten the matter until Johnson brought it back up.
The January 6 “storming of the capital” is problematic for many reasons. Despite a never-ending investigation into the right’s involvement in the incident, there is proof that Democrats themselves played a significant role in the event’s unfolding. From former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (CA-D) refusal to listen to then-president Trump’s recommendation to tighten security around the capital to emerging video evidence that “plants” within the crowd facilitated entry into the building, the left’s portrayal of January 6 is full of holes and raises more questions than it answers.
The most significant criticism of the left’s version of events is a legitimate question of when and where the “protesters” stopped for supplies to create their signs if they were present at Trump’s calls for a peaceful protest. This, combined with video footage of BLM and ANTIFA members donning MAGA gear at the scene before infiltrating the crowd, are just some of the facts that point to the flaws in the left’s version of events.
And lastly, Johnson’s portrayal of Republicans as a party that “refuses to accept the results of the Civil War” is historically inaccurate.
The Republican Party was founded in the 1850s as an anti-slavery political party, with a primary goal of opposing the extension of slavery into new territories. The party emerged in the context of growing tensions over the issue of slavery in the United States. Many of its founding members, including prominent figures like Abraham Lincoln, Salmon P. Chase, and Charles Sumner, were former members of the Whig Party who opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories.
In the 1860 presidential election, the Republican Party ran on an anti-slavery platform, and their candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the presidency. The election of Lincoln and the Republican opposition to the expansion of slavery were contributing factors to the secession of Southern states and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.
Conversely, in the 19th century, the Democratic Party was associated with pro-slavery sentiments. During the antebellum period, the Democratic Party had members who supported slavery, particularly in the Southern states where the plantation economy was prevalent. Democrats from the South tended to defend and advocate for the institution of slavery. Meanwhile, Northern Democrats were more diverse in their views on slavery, and some were anti-slavery.
The issue of slavery and regional tensions eventually contributed to the fracturing of the Democratic Party, particularly during the 1860 election. Southern Democrats nominated their candidate, while Northern Democrats nominated another, leading to a split that helped Republican Abraham Lincoln win the presidency.
Mark Twain famously said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” Johnson’s unhinged rant proves the adage to be true.