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It Gets Serious

It’s not a joke anymore. Violence erupted outside a Trump rally in St Louis and a rally later in the evening was canceled, supposedly over security concerns. Where violence inside these rallies has long been ignored the act of it spilling onto the streets has suddenly caught the attention of nearly everyone. This is scary stuff.

Nevermind that it’s been at a boil for months. Somehow, a line was crossed.

This will unquestionably change the nature of the Presidential race, but it’s unclear exactly how at this point. Will it crystallize Republican opposition? Will it escalate by engaging the left? What will the average voter think of this? What will the media report?

The fiery election of 2016 just had a lot of gasoline dumped on it. It’s no longer even remotely predictable.

The protests in the streets went as street protests usually do - more than a little messy.

The protests in the streets went as street protests usually do – more than a little messy.

What we know at this stage is rather limited. For months, protesters inside Trump rallies have been shoved, punched, and dragged out of the events physically. The first time this spilled over onto the street came in St Louis, when a group of anti-Trump demonstrators got close enough to the Trump rally attendees to start trading punches. The police moved in swiftly and things got worse. That evening, a Trump rally in Chicago was postponed indefinitely.

Where violence before had been lightly reported, the press has responded to the public spectacle sharply – as if what went on before was some kind of private thang they had no business caring about. Many outlets have condemned Trump for inciting violence, as have his opponents, placing blame squarely on his shoulders.

Trump, for his part, blames Sanders’ supporters for what happened. How can this be?

Trump rallies have often featured violence - for a long time.

Trump rallies have often featured violence – for a long time.

Sadly, he has a thin line of reasoning to back this claim. Students at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), the Chicago venue, asked moveon.org to help them organize a counter-rally against Trump. The group eagerly complied. By the time the rally was to start the protesters outnumbered rally attendees by several to one, making the situation volatile.

This is a dangerous escalation of the situation no matter how we look at it. No matter how you feel about the UIC students and moveon, they need to be very careful.

Trump, typically, right out lied by saying that the Chicago Police asked him to cancel the rally. It was a brilliant move where his lie made the first pass of the news and the subsequent denial by the police is relatively lightly reported. Trump can claim that he didn’t start a thing.

More to the point, this enabled Trump to claim that Sanders’ supporters were behind the potentially violent move to take his right to free speech, given that moveon has indeed supported Sanders. Not only does the focus move away from Trump, it has a name to turn on.

When moveon organized the protest it probably seemed like the reasonable thing to do. After all, no one wants to simply let Trump continue to spew hate and promote violence without being countered, right? But this is a dangerous path that they need to consider carefully before proceeding.

The Feuerwehr at the Reichstag.

The Feuerwehr at the Reichstag.

If nothing else, Trump is a master at turning any situation to his favor immediately, largely because he has no shame whatsoever. Like the Nazis, who almost certainly did not burn down the German Parliament in 1933, he is able to quickly capitalize on any chaotic situation because he is the most nimble and the best prepared.

Simply organizing students into a protest is not enough. Such an action is escalating the situation without being as prepared as the opposition for what comes next . There are only two possible actions necessary at this point. One is to become as reckless and violent as Trump, taking control of the situation in the same manner. The other is to proceed as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) did to promote civil rights, which involved years of constant training for protesters in non-violent means.

We don’t have the time for the latter, and the former is horrific.

Does that mean that we cannot engage Trump? Of course not. But everyone has to be careful about it. Unfortunately, the thrill of a nasty confrontation is likely to bring out the very worst in both sides as people start showing up at these rallies looking for trouble. It’s only likely to get worse no matter what.

Thankfully, the press is finally doing its job. Perhaps the Republican Party will find a way to do what needs to be done, too. But setting up a left-right street war is a classic Nazi move being done in a classic Nazi way at the moment.

Trump’s true colors are on display, and they are clearly red, black, and white. We cannot forget this.

20 thoughts on “It Gets Serious

  1. I pretty much agree with this analysis. Nazi-like thuggery, aided and abetted by the mainstream media. I have been worried because of the parallels to the police riot in Chicago in 1968. Even though it was pretty obviously a police riot, the episode and the way it was handled helped put Nixon in the White House. If the Dems had been willing do disavow Daley and his police riot, perhaps the outcome would have been different. Likewise, it is hard to envision the Repugs disavowing the thuggery of Trump’s supporters, since none of the major candidates even pretend to believe in justice and democracy. An ugly scene….

    • It’s worth noting that at the end of the 1968 campaign, and I think 1968 can be taken almost as one single event in many horrible ways, the population wound up voting for the most establishment candidate running. All the noise eventually pointed us to Nixon, of all people.
      Can Clinton seize the situation the way he did, promising law and order? I doubt it, but that may be the direction she turns once she secures the nomination – which is to say if the polls next Tuesday are right and she winds up dominating the large states and swing states that are up for grabs.
      Then again, this is all getting so crazy it’s really hard to tell what will happen. Is there any genuine establishment leadership? Is law and order a viable platform in all this? It’s only likely to get crazier. We know that the conventions, both of them, have the potential to be real carnivals – possibly carnivals of violence. I do not in any way blame Sanders but there is a heavy “smash the system” contingent that is supporting him. They will not go quietly into the night.

  2. “Trump’s true colors are on display”. Yep. Brown (shirts).

    The shark (Godwin’s Law) has been jumped.

    I am just waiting for the self-appointed “extra security” (card-carrying members of the ANP, KKK, JBS) people to jump in and for some USSS with the unfortunate task of having to protect Herr Drumpf to get caught in the crossfire.

    • I do feel this can only get worse at this point. Last week I thought the media, through Megyn Kelly’s hard work, had found a way to deal with the guy. Then he found a way to amp it all up. Not good.

  3. BTW, I think Rachel Maddow did a great job on Friday night anchoring the coverage. I am sure she will take sh*t for it, but she was very Cronkitean in positing that not only was Drumpf building up to this, but that he obviously had no intention of even trying to show up at UIC once he got wind of it and by announcing the cancellation under the (blatantly false) pretense of “as advised by the CPD), was setting himself up to proclaim victimhood. I think the allusion to the Reichstag fire is accurate (obviously this was an order of magnitude smaller in scale) for the claims that were made afterwards.

    I have to remain optimistic that this “ripping off of the scab” of racism & hate endemic to the American psyche will have a positive effect in the end. Complacent White Americans HAVE to sit up and take notice and also see what’s behind much of the unprecedented disrespect shown to President Obama, don’t they????

    It may be time (once again) for me to curse the f*cking Canadians for not ever having the cojones to invade and colonize a Caribbean island… Is it too late to ask them to claim Greneda???

    • I have to watch all of her show – I’ve only seen some – and I do agree. Every smart, concerned person has to be committed to turning down the noise at this point. Cold, hard facts and a quiet objectivity are indeed the way to go. Maddow has shown this, Kelly showed this, and I think a few others will as well.
      Time for the adults to step up. We will see what, if anything, Republicans have to offer this process.
      The disrespect for Obama is another thing. I would like to see some hardcore focus group work on this. It can’t be playing well, can it? If it is, why is it?

  4. If then that friend demand
    why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:
    –Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved
    Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and
    die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live
    all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
    as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
    valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I
    slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his
    fortune; h

  5. The hand that signed the paper by Dylan Thomas

    The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
    Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
    Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
    These five kings did a king to death.

    The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
    The fingers’ joints are cramped with chalk;
    A goose’s quill has put an end to murder
    That put an end to talk.

    The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
    And famine grew, and locusts came;
    Great is the hand that holds dominion over
    Man by a scribbled name.

    The five kings count the dead but do not soften
    The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
    A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
    Hands have no tears to flow.

    • Alas, poor Marco.

      I believe that Rubio truly believes that were it not for Trump, he’d be ruling the year. Delusional, overly-ambitious twit.

      If Trump had not been in the race, I think Jeb would have stolen the show.

      I sure hope Marco is working on his resume–fancy platform boots aren’t free… And after Tuesday, he’s going to need a new gravy train.

  6. Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address was delivered to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on January 27, 1838, titled “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions”.[1][2] In this speech, Lincoln spoke about the dangers of slavery in the United States, as the institution could corrupt the federal government.[1] Lincoln warned that mobs or people who disrespected American laws and courts could destroy the United States.

    Contents [hide]
    The speech[edit]
    The subject of Lincoln’s speech was citizenship in a democratic republic and threats to American institutions.[1] In the speech, Lincoln discussed in glowing terms the political system established by the founding fathers, but warned of a destructive force from within. He asked his listeners:

    Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

    Lincoln indirectly blamed slavery for lawlessness in the United States.[3] In this context he warned that

    whenever the vicious portion of [our] population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision stores, throw printing-presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure and with impunity, depend upon it, this government cannot last. By such things the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it, and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak to make their friendship effectual.

    Lincoln then warned that a tyrant could overtake the American political system from within.[4] He said:

    It is to deny what the history of the world tells us is true, to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion as others have done before them. The question then is, Can that gratification be found in supporting and maintaining an edifice that has been erected by others? Most certainly it cannot. Many great and good men, sufficiently qualified for any task they should undertake, may ever be found whose ambition would aspire to nothing beyond a seat in Congress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair; but such belong not to the family of the lion or the tribe of the eagle. What! think you these places would satisfy an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon? Never! Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. It sees no distinction in adding story to story upon the monuments of fame erected to the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves or enslaving freemen. Is it unreasonable, then, to expect that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time spring up among us? And when such an one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.Distinction will be his paramount object, and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm, yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.

    To prevent this, Lincoln concluded that there was a need to cultivate a “political religion” that emphasizes “reverence for the laws” and puts reliance on “reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason.”

    During the speech, Lincoln referenced two murders committed by pro-slavery mobs. The first was the burning of Francis McIntosh, a freedman who killed a constable, and was subsequently lynched by a mob in St. Louis in 1836.[5] Lincoln also referenced the death of Elijah Parish Lovejoy, a newspaper editor and abolitionist, who was murdered three months earlier by a pro-slavery mob in nearby Alton, Illinois.[5]

    The address was published in the Sangamon Journal, helping to establish Lincoln’s reputation as an orator. As the Lyceum address was one of Lincoln’s earliest published speeches, it has been examined thoroughly by historians. Gore Vidal claimed to have used this speech to fully understand Lincoln’s character for his historical novel Lincoln.[6]

  7. June 1, 2016

    ap wire

    Sanders partisans open fired in a Donald Trump rally being held at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul MN. Estimates are that 1, 500 were killed in the Bataclan-style attack. Street fighting broke throughout downtown St. Paul and fighting spilled over into the adjacent Irvine Park neighborhood, where many homeowners were beat up after trying to intervene in fighting between Sanders and Trump supporters. More at 11…

  8. He is such a disaster! I don’t blame people for protesting him but they do have to be careful. These people are nuts all around, they punch innocent people in the face just because they don’t like them. Its all so sick!

  9. “Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need — not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, ‘rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation,’ a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.”

    Good luck tomorrow in Florida my friend. I have faith in you.

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