Republican candidates have been bantering back and forth about everything—gun control, Barack Obama, immigrants, ISIS, a byzantine (and misguided) discussion of taxes—and yet nothing about the most important social protest movement in America. Given conservative priorities, however, I suppose this isn’t too surprising; the Republican party seems fixated on engineering fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the electorate. (Donald Trump, of course, took it one step further, and claimed that “the police are the most mistreated people in the country” after invoking the specter of the San Bernardino massacre.)
The closest the moderators came to asking anything about Black Lives Matter was serving Governor John Kasich of Ohio a softball question about police discharging their weapons in his state—which, if you recall, was the place where Tamir Rice, 12, was shot and killed twelve seconds after the police showed up, presumably to apprehend him for playing with a toy gun. It’s too early to tell what this means about the GOP in general, but it’s clear that the candidates aren’t eager to address the elephant in the room.