In an interview yesterday at the show State of the Union moderated by Jake Tapper, the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, said of the symbols of racist is used by some protesters in his State.
Michigan is one of the States most affected by the epidemic of COVID-19, and the authorities have put in place harsh measures of containment and distancing. Since a few weeks, the people are angry at the demonstrators, who consider that the governor Whitmer is overstepping its rights. Some of the scenes of the event evoke the hints of racism and an inglorious past.
Already last week, I noted the presence of protesters armed in the grounds of the State Capitol. No one can enter there with a cigarette, but the weapon has been tolerated…
Among the symbols most often highlighted, we find the swastika and the flag confederate. I don’t know about you, but I find it troubling this mix to say the least, questionable weapons and references to racism.
I understand the need to preserve the rights and freedoms. I also understand the anxiety and the anger. The future is uncertain, and we are all eager to revive the economy, the recession is on the horizon. Which seems to me unacceptable, it is to associate claims and concerns, though legitimate in times of crisis, episodes of the past, of which our neighbours have had to learn lessons.
As highlighted by the governor Whitmer, these protesters do not represent the entire population of Michigan. They are, however, sufficiently numerous to seriously complicate the conduct of operations made necessary by a public health emergency.
These demonstrators also have the support of the president. A month ago, Donald Trump exhorted them to liberate the Michigan and last Friday, he asked the governor to negotiate with the protesters because “these are good people” (fine people).
If I am concerned about the presence of more radical elements in the ranks of the protesters, I find some solace in the results of recent surveys. The inhabitants of the Michigan fall mostly in the camp of the governor, and they support his management of the crisis to 57%.
If the president wants to repeat his feat of 2016 and to be imposed in this State, it may need to revise his speech. The same polls that are favorable to Gretchen Whitmer indicate that the behavior of the president in the face of the threat of the COVID-19 is supported by 44% of the population.
The team of Donald Trump has probably already noted that Joe Biden enjoys a lead of more comfortable at the national level, but also in several pivotal States, including Michigan. The president will continue to speak only to his supporters, or will he expand his base?