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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/30/15

Today's Civil Unrest and the 2016 Presidential Election

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) April 30, 2015: The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody on April 9, 2015, has sparked riots in Baltimore and demonstrations in other American cities.

In the riots in Baltimore, property damage and looting of certain businesses have been extensive. But no deaths have occurred -- thus far. Should deaths occur in the Baltimore unrest or in the demonstrations in other cities, they will escalate concern about the unrest.

If the Koch brothers, or other big shots in the Republican Party, want to see the Republican Party's presidential candidate in 2016 emerge victorious, they might capitalize on the unrest in Baltimore and other cities to hire assassins to kill a few people around the demonstrations.

It is far too early to predict what issues will emerge as the issues on which the presidential candidates in the Republican Party and the Democratic Party will differ most decisively in 2016.

Thus far, no Republican presidential candidate has emerged from the pack of Republicans contending for their party's presidential nomination for president in the 2016 election.

But Hillary Clinton has emerged as the front-runner for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2016. So as she takes her policy stands, she may be able to frame the debate not only for the primary within the Democratic Party, but perhaps also for the general election in 2016.

On April 29, 2015, candidate Hillary Clinton delivered a major policy speech at Columbia University, as the New York Times reported in Amy Chozick and Michael Barbaro's story "Hillary Clinton Laments 'Missing' Black Men as Politicians Reflect on Baltimore Unrest" (dated April 29, 2015). The authors describe her speech as "impassioned."

In addition to her speech at Columbia, she posted a policy statement titled Respect by the Law, Respect for the Law" at the website of the Brennan Center for Justice" (dated April 27, 2015).

As I write, the New York Times reports that the Baltimore police department has finished its inquiry into the death of Freddie Gray. The department's report now goes to the state's attorney for Baltimore, 35-year-old Marilyn J. Mosby. Her office is conducting its own investigation.


Years ago, First Lady Hillary Clinton famously referred to a vast right-wing conspiracy. But I prefer to refer to that vast right-wing conspiracy as movement conservatism.

Movement conservatism emerged in the Cold War. Even though the Cold War appears to have ended, movement conservatism endures to this day.

Because Hillary Clinton is running to become the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in 2016, it is 100% predictable that Hillary Clinton is going to face vociferous opposition from the vast right-wing conspiracy known as movement conservatism. She is a lightning rod.

Movement conservatism capitalizes on inordinate fear -- the kind of inordinate fear that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that we should fear. Yes, we should fear inordinate fear in ourselves and in our fellow Americans in movement conservatism.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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