President Barack Obama’s passive response to the riots and arson in Ferguson may prompt a November rebuke by the silent majority of American voters, says Patrick Buchanan, who was an adviser to President Richard Nixon during the late 1960s race riots.
The media’s focus on the conflict ensures the “country is being polarized by watching this,” Buchanan told The Daily Caller. (RELATED: Buchanan: Only Another 9/11 Can Unite A Divided America)
“I don’t think that that is going to be helpful to the party of Rev. Sharpton or Jesse Jackson,” said Buchanan, who is now a columnist.
“I think the riots and the violence and the looting are going to cause a lot of folks to recoil from those who appear to be condoning those sorts of act… there is no question about it,” he said.
Many Americans will remain silent amid the media furor, until they can vote, he said. “A lot of people just watch these things, observe quietly and talk with each other… [and] I think you will see it at the polls” in November, he stated.
“The silent majority will react as it always does — it will recoil [from] the cursing, the hollering, the obscene gestures, the assaults on police, the looting and vandalism,” Buchanan observed.
The dispute may boost turnout by Obama’s base, but it will also turn out his opposition, Buchanan said.
“The polarization is not going to be beneficial to the president,” he warned.
“The president should really call for calming down, let the law go forward and the facts presents themselves,” he said.
Obama should say, according to Buchanan, “Look this is a terrible tragedy, a 18-year-old life has been cut off in a violent act in the streets of Ferguson, and we’ve got to the let the law and investigation take its course. The protests have been made, the country understands, but it is time for to put an end to violent upheavals.”
“The sooner he addresses it the better, but I would hope that the National Guard would restore l and order tonight,” said Buchanan.
“This thing in Ferguson is child’s plays compared to Watts, Detroit and D.C. and a hundred other cities after Dr. [Martin Luther] Kings’ s assassination [in 1968].”
“You had whole sections of cities gutted, dozens killed, troops called out, and thousands arrested,” he said. Ferguson is “nothing comparable to that, but what makes it somewhat similar is the enormous amount of media attention.”
In the 1960s, “there were only three newspapers and only two newspapers a day — morning and evening — but the whole country is riveted by this now” because of the massive media coverage, Buchanan added.