Deroy Murdock: Trump should deliver Oval Office address on rioting tearing America apart

President Trump should wield one of the biggest wrenches in his toolbox and do so with all deliberate speed. He should address his fellow Americans from the Oval Office on the burning and looting that are tearing this republic to pieces.


The president spoke Monday evening from the Rose Garden. “The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their president, I will fight to keep them safe,” Trump said. “I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

His welcome comments offered much of the strength that has been scarce in this emergency. But he should speak in greater depth and for more than seven minutes from the pilot’s seat of the presidency: the commander-in-chief’s chair behind the Resolute Desk in the cockpit that is the Oval Office.


The president should ask the major broadcast networks and the major news channels for time to speak before the East Coast goes dark. Dusk unleashes the thieves and thugs who have converted legitimate protests into a devastating free-for-all.

If these major media organizations – many of which earlier accused the president of staying silent throughout this crisis – air his remarks, he can rally the entire American people, who seek his guidance.

Conversely, if liberal media outlets silence the president as he works to unify this country, they will deserve scorn for censoring America’s leader exactly when his leadership is most needed.

Trump’s remarks Monday centered on his potential deployment of the U.S. military to help squelch the mayhem taking place across the country under the Insurrection Act of 1807.


As Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen exquisitely detailed on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday, 11 presidents have harnessed this power, including Republican Ulysses S. Grant to suppress the KKK, and Democrats FDR, JFK and LBJ to quell riots in, respectively, Detroit; Oxford, Miss.; and Washington.

Beyond that realm, the president should echo his beautiful and appropriate words from Cape Canaveral on Saturday, after SpaceX’s successful, private, manned rocket launch. Trump’s moving remarks remain disturbingly underreported by journalists who accuse him of not speaking up and then ignore him when he talks.

Here is a portion of the president’s remarks Saturday:

“The death of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis was a grave tragedy. It should never have happened. It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger and grief.

“Yesterday, I spoke to George’s family and expressed the sorrow of our entire nation for their loss. I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace. And I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace. Healing, not hatred; justice, not chaos are the mission at hand.

“The police officers involved in this incident have been fired from their jobs. One officer has already been arrested and charged with murder. State and federal authorities are carrying out an investigation to see what further charges may be warranted, including against, sadly, the other three.

“In addition, my administration has opened a civil rights investigation, and I have asked the attorney general and the Justice Department to expedite it.


“I understand the pain that people are feeling. We support the right of peaceful protesters, and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.

“The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters and anarchists. The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups who are terrorizing the innocent, destroying jobs, hurting businesses and burning down buildings.

“The main victims of this horrible, horrible situation are the citizens who live in these once lovely communities. The mobs are devastating the life’s work of good people and destroying their dreams. Right now, America needs creation, not destruction; cooperation, not contempt; security, not anarchy.

“And there will be no anarchy. Civilization must be cherished, defended, and protected. The voices of law-abiding citizens must be heard, and heard very loudly.

“We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities. We must defend the rights of every citizen to live without violence, prejudice or fear.

“It does not serve the interests of justice or any citizen of any race, color, or creed for the government to give into anarchy, abandon police precincts, or allow communities to be burned to the ground. It won’t happen.


“Those making excuses or justifications for violence are not helping the downtrodden, but delivering new anguish and new pain.”


President Trump also should honor Americans for their exemplary responses to this catastrophe. He should highlight the scrubs-clad nurse in Brooklyn who stood between cops and protesters and pleaded for peace.

Trump should celebrate the Minneapolis residents who swept up the rubble of their ruined city – Step One in rebuilding.

The president should spotlight the more than 36,000 individuals who, as of early Wednesday morning, donated nearly $1.1 million to Korboi Balla via GoFundMe. This black Minneapolis firefighter, husband and father of four plowed his life savings into Scores Sports Bar.

Rather than enjoy its grand opening on Monday, looters on Friday broke in, stole everything, and then turned the unborn establishment into ashes. Balla sought $100,000. He now has almost 11 times that to resurrect his American Dream, thanks to the love, good wishes and generosity of total strangers.


President Trump also should present evidence of Antifa’s role in this bedlam. He should expose this hideous drama’s villains. Trump should cleave these domestic terrorists from George Floyd, whose lifeless body they defile as a human shield to perpetrate their nihilistic, far-left evil.


The president should remind Americans of the relevant actions by the Justice Department and FBI to reduce police brutality and promote respectful policing. He should ask Americans to nominate outstanding cops and police departments for a new Presidential Medal of Law and Justice. Likewise, Trump should make the rogue cops who tarnish their badges infamous.


The president should discuss Opportunity Zones, school choice, his stalwart support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the all-time-low black unemployment on his watch before the coronavirus pandemic. He should state that black progress, along with the overall post-COVID-19 recovery, is an objective that all Americans proudly should share.


Trump’s Cape Canaveral speech was splendid. But Americans need to hear the president of the United States address his people from the glory of the Oval Office. This should happen as soon as possible.

All upside. No downside. What the hell does President Trump have to lose?