Violence at Trump Rally – Enough Blame to go Around
Donald Trump, the front runner to be the republican candidate of the United States was scheduled to have a rally in the suburbs of Chicago a few days ago. Approximately, 3,000 “Trump protesters” crashed his rally to meet up with the 15,000 Trump supporters in the venue. The result was predictable. Loud chants on both sides by people who believed passionately in their cause. This, of course, led to a few ugly moments… yells, rude gestures, finger pointing and more than a few physical altercations. It was tense and emotional. As a result, Trump canceled his rally before it began due to safety concerns.
The usual political pundits come on television and blame the other side for the violence that erupted. For the purposes of this blog, I want to seek your opinion on this issue – Donald Trump or the Trump protesters? First, let me lay out the arguments.
Pro: Donald Trump has created a toxic environment in two ways. 1) His critics say he trumpets hate speech against Muslims, Hispanics and women. 2) During rallies, when a person stands up to protest, Trump routinely says, “Get ’em out of here.” On occasion, he has said, “I’d like to punch that guy in the face,” “In the olden days, that guy would have been carried out on a stretcher,” and he has offered to pay the legal fees of supporters who impolitely escort the protesters to the door. Hey, leaders set the tone, a tone that if followed by supporters. A leader’s words and demeanor have consequences. Fairly, one can argue that Trump is inciting violence at his rallies, or at the least, condoning violence. Trump could end all of this nonsense by changing his tenure, tone and words.
Con: Donald Trump has First Amendment Rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to free speech. He has the right to assemble peacefully and people have the right to listen to his message. Protesters show up at every one of Trump’s rallies. They don’t just show up and picket outside, which is also guaranteed by the Constitution. They also enter the rallies and take turns yelling to disrupt the speech. What most people don’t understand is that your right to free speech ends when you interfere with my right to free speech. Moreover, the protesters in Chicago were organized. Some of these protesters were paid to show up. They had a mission to end the rally and keep Trump from speaking at that venue. Groups like Moveon.org and Black lives Matter proudly claimed responsibility. Organized chaos and violence was part of the plan. How can you possibly blame Trump for this violence when he wasn’t even in the state when the violence erupted?
Joe’s Perspective: What I hate to see is fellow Americans yelling at each other… taking swings at each other… getting injured. Quite frankly, it makes me sad. It makes me feel like this country will never be united again. Regardless of who gets elected President, roughly 40% of the country will be unhappy, even devastated. Democrats have vowed to leave the country if Trump is elected and republicans have vowed to leave the country if Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is elected. Each side feels equally passionate. Each side feels equally justified to act like idiots. In my book, fighting with fellow Americans at political rallies, constitutes idiocy. Everyone over the age of 18 has a right to vote, I suggest you exercise that right to vote.
- If you had to assign levels of blame, where would you place the blame for what happened in Chicago?
- To what extent does your answer above have to do with your political views or the political views of your parents?