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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Disrupt Trump - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


Disrupt Trump

Last night in Chicago the sad carnival that has been the Trump campaign got out of control. This is to say that Trump lost control of the crowd he had mustered, and lost control of the venue they had gathered in. He had to cancel his event.

It happened in Chicago.

Protesters came. They were organized and relentless. People were pushed around. Punches were thrown. It was far from pretty, and much less than ideal, but I have always said that politics and idealism do not mix. The tighter they are bound together, the more easily they both fall apart.
While I wish that the sustained protests could have disrupted the Trump rally without the violence (mild as it was), and the mayhem. I am grateful that the good people of Chicago put a stop to hateful diatribe that Trump has been spewing. I am glad they denied him the stage.

It happened in Chicago.

I want to take a moment and reflect on the principle complaint coming from the Trump camp regarding the events that transpired last night. That the protesters denied Trump his right to free speech, guaranteed by the first amendment. This did not happen. It is another Trump lie, in the same vein as all of the other “poor me” fabrications he has been telling.

The first amendment of the constitution guaranteeing the right of freedom of religion, the right to free speech, and the right to peacefully assemble, is a guarantee to the people over and against statutory power of the government. It protects the people from the government. It does not protect an aspiring presidential candidate from the people.

Furthermore, in his famous majority opinion of Bush v. Gore in 2001; Justice Antonin Scalia, who is apparently much admired by Donald Trump (if you believe the things trump has said about him recently), said that the right to free speech does not at the same time guarantee you the right to be heard. Now I disagree with that opinion, but it was issued by a majority of the Supreme Court justices.

Finally, Trump’s ability to communicate with his followers was not infringed on by the protesters he encountered. Trump retains the means and the ability to communicate to his audience in many other ways, and he was communicating with them the entire time his event was being disrupted, through interviews he was giving in real time through various media outlets. He was merely prevented from speaking to that crowd, in that venue, at that time.

It happened in Chicago.

It happened because the mix of people, and their passions was too volatile for that gathering to be allowed to continue. It was not the protesters who shut down the rally, it was Donald Trump. He shut it down because he did not want to face the crowd.

Trump has been whining about this all day long, in a way that has become characteristic of him; blaming anyone and everyone, and taking no responsibility for the hateful way he whips up his crowd himself.

I am not sure if Trump will come to Minneapolis. The Minnesota caucuses are over. I do not know that there would be an incentive for him to come here, but if he does come here, or come to a location nearby. I am committed to showing up at a Trump rally, I am asking you to commit to that as well, to show up and disrupt the demagogue, exercise our first amendment rights and deny him his stage.  

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