A survey this week by Rasmussen, a right-leaning pollster, found that 62 percent of likely voters now have a favorable opinion of Black Lives Matter. At the same time, Rasmussen found that Donald Trump's approval rating was 43 percent. That's almost 20 points lower.
And by the way, Trump was not alone. Black Lives Matter is far more popular than Joe Biden, too. It's more popular than America's religious institutions -- all of them. It's more popular than the media, the Congress and big business.
Black Lives Matter is more popular by double digits than both the Democratic and the Republican parties. It's almost as popular as the U.S. military. It's much more popular than the pope.
The numbers are astounding, but the polls are not the only measure of it. One picture from a Black Lives Matter rally over the weekend in New York shows an ocean of people. Ask yourself the last time you saw a candidate for office who was able to draw a crowd like that?
The media, in their relentlessly fawning coverage, usually described Black Lives Matter as an activist group or a protest movement. But that's deception by understatement. Black Lives Matter is not a collection of marchers with signs. It's not a conventional political lobby like Planned Parenthood or the NRA. It's not pressuring Congress to pass some narrow new set of laws.
Black Lives Matter is far more ambitious than that. It is working to remake the country and then to control it. It's a political party.
As of now, Black Lives Matter may be the single most powerful political party in the United States. Nobody says that out loud, but politicians understand it perfectly well. If nothing else, they understand power; they can smell it at great distances. And that's why they're lining up to bow before Black Lives Matter.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.: You can't really reform a department that that is rotten to the root.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.: We've heard our people cry out, "I can't breathe!" We've heard our people speak out, "Black Lives Matter."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.: This is a systemic problem that requires a comprehensive solution.
Stacy Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate: What I would say is that there is -- there is a legitimacy to this anger. There's a legitimacy to this outrage.
None of what you just saw is a stretch for Democrats. They believe their long-term goals align with those of Black Lives Matter. And in fact, at times, the group functions as an arm of the Democratic Party.
More telling, though -- and more ominous -- is the response from many Republicans. They've been happy to go along as well, or in Mitt Romney's case, even mouth the same slogans.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah: We need to end violence and brutality and to make sure that people understand that Black Lives Matter.
If the leaders of Black Lives Matter are political actors -- and they are -- then by definition, you are allowed to have any opinion you want to have about them. Black Lives Matter wants to run the country; therefore, you can freely criticize Black Lives Matter. Those are the rules of our system -- but not anymore.
That was the former Republican nominee for president. Let that sink in. If there was ever an indicator of how powerful Black Lives Matter has become, you just saw it.
Republican leaders brag about their strong conservative convictions, but mostly they just want to be on the winning team, whatever that is. That's why they pause before offending China. It's why when Black Lives Matter tells them to take a knee, they do.
It's all pretty strange when you think about it. If the leaders of Black Lives Matter are political actors -- and they are -- then by definition, you are allowed to have any opinion you want to have about them. Black Lives Matter wants to run the country; therefore, you can freely criticize Black Lives Matter.
Those are the rules of our system -- but not anymore.
Imagine a world where you are punished for questioning the behavior of the president or for insulting your local mayor. You probably can't imagine that. It's too bizarre. It's un-American. But that's where we are right now. Black Lives Matter has changed the rules. And here is their first new rule: No criticizing Black Lives Matter. You can be fired from your job if you disobey. Many Americans have been.
On Friday, for example, the principal of a public school in Windsor, Vermont. was dismissed from her job for posting the following words on her personal Facebook page: "While I understand the urgency to feel compelled to advocate for black lives, what about our fellow law enforcement? Just because I don't walk around with a BLM sign should not mean I'm a racist.".
Unfortunately, the principal's boss disagreed. The superintendent of Windsor Schools described the quote you just heard as "outright racist." Windsor, Vermont, by the way, is more than 97 percent white.
Also on Friday, an economist called Harald Uhlig lost his job at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for daring to offer even milder criticism than that. On Twitter, Uhlig noted that Black Lives Matter had"just torpedoed itself with its full-fledged support of #defund the police. Now is the time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all."
That was a racist statement, the Federal Reserve concluded. So, they fired Harald Uhlig.
We could give you many other examples of the same thing happening. There are a lot of them. Black Lives Matter now enjoys almost complete immunity from criticism. This is unprecedented for an American political movement.
But Black Lives Matter is even more powerful than that. It has singlehandedly revised our moral framework. Yes, black lives do matter. That is a statement of fact, and no decent person doubts that it is true because it is. And it is true precisely because every life matters. We are all human beings, every one of us. We have souls. Skin color is irrelevant to moral value.
Until recently, this was considered obvious; saying it was regarded as a virtue. All lives matter equally. All of us were created by God. In the end, all of us will die. Nothing can change that -- not wealth, not fame, not race. Every life is precisely as valuable as every other life.
By the way, that idea forms the basis of the Christian faith. It's the entire premise behind our founding documents. And yet, suddenly, thanks to Black Lives Matter, you can no longer say it out loud.
Affirming the fundamental equality of all people is now considered hate speech. You can be fired for saying it. Again, many people have been.
This is a dangerous moment. How did we get here? In a word, quickly. It happened fast.
As recently as December, before the riots, most Americans did not approve of Black Lives Matter. The group was defined in the public mind by moments like this.
Crowd (chanting): Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon. Pigs in a blanket. Fry them like bacon.
"Pigs in a blanket." "Fry like bacon." "Kill the police." They yelled that at a rally. The usual liars immediately swooped in to pretend that it never happened. The president of the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote an entire op-ed ordering the public not to consider Black Lives Matter a hate group.
But people could see the truth for themselves. That video was online. A lot of facts about Black Lives Matter still reside on the internet. They have not yet been scrubbed.
This is a dangerous moment. How did we get here? In a word, quickly. It happened fast.
The group's signature demand is to eliminate law enforcement. When you first heard protesters scream, "Defund the police," it may have shocked you. That's just crazy, you may have thought.
A few weeks later, support for eliminating law enforcement is rising quickly in the polls. Minneapolis is already doing it. Other cities will follow. Are you surprised? Almost no one in public life has pushed back meaningfully against the idea of defunding the police.
The Black Lives Matter position is the only position most people hear. After a while, they believe it. Unchallenged claims must be true. That's what most people assume, and why wouldn't they assume that? If you strongly disagree with something, say so, otherwise, it's much more likely to happen.
So, with that in mind, consider some of the other positions Black Lives Matter has endorsed. The repeal of all immigration restrictions, for starters. They're for that. The legalization of sex work -- prostitution -- they're for that, too. The destruction of the nuclear family, your family. The forced relocation of farmland. Race-based reparations, specifically "in the form of a guaranteed minimum livable income for all black people."
Hear that? All black people, not just the descendants of American slaves. This would include the millions of African and Caribbean immigrants who on average now earn more than native-born Americans. Every one of these new Americans would receive a guaranteed annual income from American taxpayers in order to atone for the sin of -- for the sin of what actually? Allowing them to immigrate here?
Black Lives Matter does not explain that part. No one asked them. You could be fired for asking. What you cannot be punished for, however, is looting and burning, at least not if you're Black Lives Matter.
Huge parts of urban landscape have been destroyed in the past month. Almost no one has been held to account for it,. Just the opposite. You're encouraged to pretend it never happened.
In St. Louis, every rioter arrested has been released without charges. In New York, hundreds were released without bail. Same in Washington, D.C. It's happening almost everywhere, and not just in places controlled by elected Democrats which tells you a lot.