Election Week 2020 Street Scenes #6: Blue Lives Matter

In the first two weeks of October, I was doing daily census work in the field in DC (their operation was in considerably much worse shape than ours in Northern Virginia was, by late September; there was a tentative October 5 end date at the time. It was announced we were being transferred us over on I think September 29).

I never had time to stroll around making “Election Week” observations, but on several days I did pass in the general White House area for one reason or another. October 10 was one such day.

Here was the scene in Constitution Avenue, south of the White House (visible in the distance):

Here we see the Blue Lives Matter flag, something I was not familiar with before the June riots and the flurry of activity that felt a lot like a color revolution attempt. (I was up close and personal to much of the worst of it in DC. I even got a black eye out of it.)

I have long admired the area around the White House for being what I thought of as a town square, a place for mutual exchange of ideas. Everyone with their little causes, and almost always a crowd of some kind around. You could also see something new. It helped a lot that the Pennsylvania Avenue north of the White House has long been closed to traffic.

While “Open Schools Now” only partially and ambiguously overlaps with “Trump 2020” as a campaign, “Blue Lives Matter” overlaps something near 100%. I can’t imagine many Blue Lives Matter flag-carriers are voting Biden-Harris.

I see a handful of Blue Lives Matter flags around, but in political-Left-heavy areas of Northern Virginia they are far outnumbered by Black Lives Matter. (In non-Black areas, Black Lives Matter yard signs are almost exclusively seen in wealthy neighborhoods. This must be a puzzling phenomenon to foreigners to observe. I was through many non-Black and non-White areas for the census, especially Hispanic areas, and really never saw Black Lives Matter signs at all.)

This good feeling I had for the area of the White House which I have described to others as feeling like a political town square was disrupted in June by the fact that the riots reached there, and then weeks of occupation of the area proceeded — blessed by the mayor, who cynically ‘renamed’ the street Black Lives Matter Plaza.

The protests and street-partiers in which the rioters moved (the rioter, maybe, moves among the crowd as the fish swims in the sea, to quote Mao) were as far as the park north of the White House, a focal point for them. It proved to be unfortunate for them that this became the focal point, because it is so easy to defend. The rioters did the most damage when the battles were scattered all over, looting here, burning garbage cans there, no way for police to mount a defense.

The riots were shocking enough, an if Trump wins I expect a common ‘take’ will be people in Middle America — who really are the forgotten people in national dialogue, looked down on or ignored — did not like the riots.

On this the last weekend before the election, there have been impressive showing of Blue Lives Matter and Trump supporters all over, in marches and car caravans. It’s for this reason I think Trump has at least a 50-50 chance, not the <10% chance the pollsters and pundits give him.

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