Sports desk: Will Fans Watch Politicized Games?

“With their boycott of games” to “protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.,” NBA and MLB athletes might have crossed a bridge too far, warns City Journal’s Steven Malanga. “Fans who were already watching less sports may react negatively to being lectured by wealthy athletes who regularly walk off the job” — especially given “the increasing habit of NBA players and coaches of criticizing the US and its citizens, even while many gave a pass to China — one of the league’s biggest new markets — during its crackdown on Hong Kong dissidents.”

Riot beat: Killing Downtown Minneapolis

Nearly six months of lockdown have “left fewer eyes on the street and growing worries about safety” in downtown Minneapolis, Eric Roper and Maya Rao report for the Minneapolis Star Tribune — concerns that “boiled over last week after rioters broke windows and looted businesses along Nicollet Mall, following false rumors police had killed a black man downtown.” After months of seeing “fewer cops, more harassing pedestrians and fights breaking out daily on Nicollet Mall,” resident Vanessa Rybicka says, “I’m moving my business out to the suburbs.” Condo listings are soaring and rents sagging. “It’s heartbreaking to hear the helicopters. It’s heartbreaking to hear the sirens day in and day out,” says black resident Suzanne Bengtson. The area’s City Council member, Lisa Goodman, warns that looters “are ripping away at the whole fabric of the city by this lawless behavior.”

2020 journal: Why the RNC Was a Success

“The Republican National Convention was a resounding success,” applauds Marc Thiessen at The Washington Post, because it gave “millions of reluctant voters” permission to vote for President Trump. Voters know it’s “in their economic self-interest” to back him, but they’ve been told repeatedly by Democrats he’s a racist. So the RNC featured black speakers attesting to Trump’s achievements for African Americans, a “side” of him most Americans never see. Republicans made a “sustained, four-day push for African-American votes” and those of Americans who care about racial justice. “I have done more in three years for the black community than Joe Biden has done in 47 years,” declared Trump, and “the best is yet to come.” That, cheers Thiessen, was “exactly the message” reluctant voters needed to hear.

Conservative: A Window Onto Realignment

“If there were an epicenter of the shift in our political parties,” Salena Zito writes in the Washington Examiner, “Mahoning County, Ohio, would be it.” Once solid, blue-collar Democratic territory, Mahoning stunningly shifted close to the Republican column in 2016. Why? “A combination of automation, technology and bad trade deals . . . left a scarred landscape not just stripped of factories, but of homes, barbershops, churches — and hope.” But whereas pro-business, libertarian-minded Mitt Romney got crushed by President Barack Obama there in 2012, President Trump made gains four years later (while still coming short of winning the county). In 2020, “Republicans plan on making the shift whole” — and, in doing so, making permanent the realignment of the two parties, with Democrats now representing the ­upscale and the educated while the GOP emerges as the new home of the working class of all races.

Culture critic: The Case for Looting?

Radical trans activist and author of “In Defense of Looting” Vicky Osterweil “must have been overcome with joy when rioting and looting broke out in the wake of George Floyd’s death,” snarks Ben Sixsmith at Spectator USA. Yet what she stands for is no joke: “Osterweil is the classic sort of leftist who attempts to wrap enough pretty language around violence and destruction as to ennoble it.” And Osterweil is misogynistic to boot, claiming in her book that “as a mode of struggle, riots are marked by many characteristics traditionally defined as feminine: not driven by rational argumentation or ‘proper’ political dialogue.” Her arguments in favor of looting are so lousy, Sixsmith admits, they make “me think she might be an undercover conservative trying to make the left look bad.”

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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