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Anti-Trump Thugs, Not ‘Protesters’, and Their Apologists

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

On Friday, March 11, members of Black Lives Matter and illegal immigrants’ “rights” groups joined with supporters of Bernie Sanders and other assortments of hard leftists to descend upon a Donald Trump rally in Chicago.


Consequently, the GOP frontrunner, informed by Chicago’s Finest of the potential dangers that lay in store for attendees, cancelled the event.

Contrary to what they and their accomplices in the media would have the public believe, these “protesters” or “demonstrators” are in reality barbaric, violent thugs.

Protest, at its finest, enriches the national dialogue. Regardless of whether one endorses the ends realized by various protest movements at different times and places, that there indeed is an honorable tradition of civil protest seems inarguable.

The militant leftists who have been crashing Trump rallies generally, and the Chicago event specifically, are eons apart from this tradition, for they are anything but civil.

Genuine protest must be lawful: If the civil liberties, the person and property of others, are violated, it is not protest.

It is criminal.

The “protesters” in Chicago engaged in violence—armed violence—against both the police as well as those who invested their resources in money and time to assemble peacefully to hear out a presidential candidate. Bricks, bottles, and even guns were among the weapons with which these “protesters” besieged the attendees.

The “protesters” ripped signs from the hands of Trump’s supporters, shouted in their faces, and assaulted them. The thugs also sported signs of their own, profanity-laced signs expressing their thoughts on the police. They blocked the streets, including an ambulance, and left at least one officer bloodied.


That the media, including and especially the so-called “conservative media” (e.g. Fox News), insists upon referring to these savages as “protesters” is a tragic commentary on the age, for it reflects a profound loss of moral perspective. We may as well as refer to Al Capone’s chief enforcer, Frank Nitti, as a security officer.

Yet it isn’t just the media that is guilty on this score; Trump’s opponents also see the thugs as “Social Justice Warriors,” i.e. otherwise idealistic, virtuous citizens who were simply reacting to the “fascism” of a demagogue.

The only thing more disturbing to this author than the spectacle of vicious goons preying upon innocents for no reason other than that they disagree with their victims’ politics is the readiness on the part of Democrats and Republicans alike to excuse their ghastly behavior.

To note but two prominent examples of the bipartisan consensus that immediately emerged on Friday, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders were of one mind in condemning for the orgy of violence not the thugs who perpetrated it, but Donald Trump.

“The protesters are behaving abusively and wrong,” Cruz said. “But, at the end of the day in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top.”

Translation: Trump is responsible for the violence that thugs visit upon his attendees, the police, and anyone who dares to be caught with a Trump sign.

Yet Cruz wasn’t finished: “I’m troubled by the rallies that Donald holds, where he asks all of the people there to raise their hand and pledge their support to him.”


Ah. Read carefully: Cruz is here exploiting the Trump-is-like-Hitler narrative that the liberal media has been laboring to weave around an innocent photograph featuring attendees at a Trump rally with their right arms raised in support of their candidate. Cruz is clearly trying to insinuate that the agitators in Chicago are responding to Trump’s fascism. Unless this was his aim, there would have been no point in mentioning the arm salute. Cruz could’ve simply read from the same playbook as everyone else and noted the manhandling of agitators on the part of Trump supporters who crashed other Trump events.

But he decided to go one step further and make, albeit subtly, the Nazi connection.

A couple of points should be borne in mind.

First, it is a disgrace—it is unconscionable—that any remotely decent person, whether he loves or despises Trump, would do anything less than unequivocally condemn what we saw in Chicago. It is not for the sake of Trump, but for the sake of righteousness, of civilization, that the evil of thuggery must be renounced without qualification.

That Cruz and John Kasich failed to rise to the occasion should, at the very least, leave the hearts of traditional conservative voters troubled.

I know of otherwise decent Democrats who also equivocated on this score: It’s time for them to disengage, even if only temporarily, from politics, for there isn’t a doubt in my mind that they would never tolerate their own children so much as going near the sorts of people who shut down Trump’s Chicago rally, let alone engage in the riotous conduct themselves.


Second, for all of the media spin about Trump’s encouraging violence among his own supporters, it should be noted that there isn’t a single incident reported of Trump’s supporters crashing Bernie or Hillary rallies. Not a single incident. When there has been rough play at Trump’s events, it hasn’t been anything at all like what we saw in Chicago. And it has always been in response to thugs who have crashed Trump’s events, insulted and accosted those in attendance, and attempted to deprive them of their opportunity to participate in the political process.

Moreover, that the sole face of violence on the part of a Trump proponent that the media has to select from among the tens of thousands of folks who have attended Trump’s rallies is that of a 79 year-old man who (unjustifiably, to be sure) punched a “protester” in the face proves just how few these exceptions are.

To repeat, there is no moral ambiguity here. Violence is never permissible except for when it is necessary to protect a victim’s life. The difference between those who recoil in disgust at the anti-Trump thugs and those who equivocate on their behalf is the difference between those who love civilization and its enemies.


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