As Businesses Board Up Nationwide, Why Aren't the Democrats Hanging Their Heads In Shame?
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"We need to have a conversation about the fact that DC, arguably the most heavily-Democratic part of the country, is currently boarded up like a hurricane is coming. And we all know that the plywood isn't up in the event of a Biden win." - Patrick Hedger

“Donald Trump is quite simply the most policy ignorant presidential candidate to ever emerge from the Republican primaries.” That’s what I wrote on November 6, 2016, just two days before the presidential elections.

In a piece titled “Why Republicans Should Hope Donald Trump Loses In A Landslide,” I made a case for the long-term health of the Party. As I put it, “Republicans who care about the Party’s brand as an optimistic one defined by free markets, growth, and shining city on the hill inclusion, must hope Trump loses on Tuesday.”

Up front, I’ll make a case that I was wrong about Trump. Despite rhetoric that frequently leaves a great deal to be desired, Trump has punched well above his rhetoric in terms of policy outcomes. The tax cut he signed was way too small, and very sadly penalized many of those most capable of authoring actual job-creating growth (meaning the rich), but he signed a tax cut. Shame on the Republican Congress for not writing a more pro-growth bill that Trump similarly would have signed.

He’s been a ferocious deregulator, he’s outsourced judicial nominations to the Federalist Society, he’s expressed much-needed skepticism about foreign adventurism, he’s signed legislation meant to get people out of prison who are there solely because their version of high (or their attempts to profit by meeting the needs of those who want to be high) doesn’t meet the approval of politicians, plus most important of all, Trump has been a polarizing figure. He’s thankfully divided Washington. When Washington is united we get wars, bailouts, trillion dollar spending bills (more on this below) from politicians meant to throw money at their own mistakes, and we generally get less freedom. Thank goodness Trump is disliked by the other side.

There are warts for sure. Many of them. Tariffs are a tax on work that delay the very work specialization that frees every individual to be a genius on the job. Tariffs make the war Trump claims to abhor more likely, including with China. China’s economic rise has been hugely beneficial to every American for it giving every American a daily raise in concert with increased work productivity, yet Trump has demonized it based on the economically backward view that the Chinese are "taking our jobs." Trump very unfortunately panicked over the virus initially, when he should have had the courage to tell the American people that his Administration would in no way fight what might cause illness or death with economic desperation. He should have then campaigned in every city and state led by mayors and governors so clueless as to fight a virus with economic contraction when economic growth has for the longest time brought illness and death to its knees. A somewhat united Washington proceeded to waste trillions on the oxymoron that was economic relief, when the only answer was an end to the lockdowns that united-in-foolishness politicians imposed in the first place. 

With Trump you get the good with the bad. How else to say it?

Anyway, that’s not the point. The point of this piece is to hopefully establish right away that the person writing it is far from partisan. The write-ups about Trump since 2016 have much more often than not been critical, as have the pieces about the Republican Party. Maybe it’s because I’m a lifelong Republican that I expect a great deal more of them. Since they regularly disappoint, I’m regularly registering disappointment. Which is probably naïve. To express disappointment when politicians err is to flatter them.

The point of this piece is to ask Democrats to take their own inventory. Think about it.

Businesses in cities across the U.S. are presently boarding up. They are as a precautionary measure against post-election rioting and looting.

About these precautions, does anyone seriously think cities known for a Republican lean will be battered if Joe Biden wins? What about Democrat-leaning cities? Assuming Biden wins, does anyone seriously think Republicans will wantonly break windows and loot in cities known to be majority Democrat? Oh come on, the question answers itself.

And while it’s possible there will be rioting assuming a Biden victory, would anyone bet me that those throwing rocks and stealing will be registered Republicans? This question also answers itself. Of course that’s really not the point either.

Stating what should be obvious, business owners have a very reasonable hunch that if Trump wins, Democrats will take their juvenile frustrations out on them. They will break windows. They will steal. They will rob innocent men and women of their livelihoods.

This is so sad. Starting a business is on its own a very courageous act. If the business succeeds it’s a miracle. A beautiful miracle. A successful business is a happy signal that unmet needs were met by the entrepreneurial.

The problem now is that tens of thousands of miracles are realistically threatened by destruction as early as November 3rd. And let’s please not insult basic intelligence with the response that the businesses are insured. Market share is hard won, and incredibly difficult to get back after business interruption. Such a debased view also ignores the passion that goes into the creation of a business. It’s about more than money, and settlements.

Tragic about all this is that Democrats claim to love jobs. Ok, but watch what they do, not what they say. The boarding up of businesses ahead of November 3rd is a sad reminder that those who say they’re peaceful and love jobs will get to work on inciting violence while destroying jobs if Trump wins.

Which brings us to the leader of the Democratic Party in Joe Biden. Why is he, and why has he been so silent on the matter? Trump voters were said to be “deplorables” back in 2016, but there was no fear that they would destroy the property of others if their man lost. Why won’t Biden speak up, and roundly denounce his truly vile base that’s prone to breaking things when elections don’t go their way?

It seems the reply is that the looters aren’t the base. Oh really? They’re just the fringe you say? If so, why isn’t Biden telling this allegedly microscopic fringe he renounces their vote unequivocally and with great vigor? Does his silence imply they’re not as fringe as some want to claim?

Whatever the answer, where is the shame on the part of Democrats? Where is the embarrassment? The alleged Party of peace and opportunity has reduced business owners to boarding up their life’s work in the event a Democrat loses? Please explain.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets, Vice President at FreedomWorks, and a senior economic adviser to Toreador Research and Trading ( His next book, set for release in March of 2021, is titled When Politicians Panicked: The New Coronavirus, Expert Opinion, and a Tragic Lapse of Reason. Other books by Tamny include They're Both Wrong: A Policy Guide for America's Frustrated Independent Thinkers, The End of Work, about the exciting growth of jobs more and more of us love, Who Needs the Fed? and Popular Economics. He can be reached at  

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