Twice during his brief and truculent Rose Garden speech Monday night, President Trump identified himself with the cause of “law and order,” at one point announcing he was “your president of law and order.”
It was a jarring reminder that Trump has revived a term that had largely dropped out of the American political lexicon because of its association with racism and repression.
He utilized it liberally during his 2016 presidential campaign , as part of his anachronistic claim that a country with historically low violent crime rates and only occasional incidents of civil unrest was somehow descending into chaos and barbarism (or “American carnage,” as he memorably called it in his dark Inaugural Address ).
It appeared a candidate who played heavily on white racial resentment and didn’t expect much support from minority voters wasn’t worried by the unsavory legacy of “law and order.”
The first notable use of the term, nearly a century ago, was by Calvin Coolidge in a retrospective speech about […]
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