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“Left-Wing Protestors Turning Violent”: How Anti-Trump Violence Could Elect Him

My central supposition about this election is that Donald Trump will lose because most regular middle Americans just won’t vote to make that man their president. This has nothing to do with ideology. It’s just about Trump. Not everyone out there adores Hillary Clinton by a long shot, and I understand well that for a lot of people this is a choice between beef liver and lumpfish, but I just think at the end of the day most people will say, No, I just can’t—I just can’t help make that crude, boorish, vindictive, childish man the president of the United States.

I think this is what will save Clinton—and the country—in the end. But as soon as I think that, I think: But what if I’m wrong? What could make people change their views on Trump, become sympathetic to him?

In theory, a number of things. Trump could stop being crude, boorish, vindictive, and childish. (I said “in theory.”) Clinton could be indicted. The economy could tank. I think those are unlikely—and yes, I saw the jobs report, but it’s early days to start talking about a recession, and it may be a silver lining of the report that it makes the Fed wait longer to raise rates, which most economists I talk to think it should do anyway.

But here’s one thing that’s not a long shot—and is in fact happening right now—that I fear will make Trump a more sympathetic figure to the kinds of Americans I’m talking about: left-wing protestors turning violent and throwing eggs at Trump supporters and burning hats and flags.

Now no doubt, someone has already fired off an abusive tweet at me calling me names and screaming at me that I just want powerless people to STFU, as they say in Twitterland. No, I do not want powerless people to STFU. I emphatically want powerless people to have more power. And the way you get more power in this country is by protesting peacefully, and voting, and doing all those boring things.

And I emphatically don’t want a racist, misogynist, neo-fascist in the Oval Office. But violent protests at his rallies increase the likelihood of us getting exactly that.

The operative word in that previous sentence is violent. Protest, Americans like. It’s in the DNA and all that. Protest got us where we are. It got us the 40-hour work week, the civil rights revolution, the end of the Vietnam war. Occasionally in these instances, things turned violent, especially in the case of labor organizing. But usually, the violence was initiated by those who held the power—the companies, in the case of union organizing, or the state, in the case of civil rights.

In the modem-day American context, it’s not in the interest of the powerless to initiate violence. They’ll always get screwed. Always. They’ll always be blamed by the media, called “rabble-rousers” and “trouble-makers,” and the worst of the footage, like those people throwing eggs at that woman in the Trump football jersey in San Jose, will be shown over and over and over again, giving my regular middle Americans up above reason to think the violence was 50 times worse than it actually was.

And those regular middle Americans will say to each other: “Goodness, Jean, those protestors are just awful, aren’t they?”

“Why, yes they are, Bob. So rude! And dirty, too.”

“That’s not the American way!”

And it will go on from there, and that night after dinner, they’ll flip on CNN (because these are not Fox viewers—an important point) and they’ll see more footage and they’ll see interviews with Trump supporters who were standing there more or less minding their own business and suddenly got their faces punched in, and they’ll work themselves into a reactionary state and decide that maybe a vindictive boor is precisely what those people need.

I guess the thinking of violent protestors is, Trump is a fascist, and the right response to fascism is violence. In some times and some places, yes, it’s been the necessary response. But we’re not anywhere near that point. Trump doesn’t have a private army. Yes, some of his rallies were getting awfully creepy there for a while, and he did inexcusably egg his people on toward violence. But all that has tapered off. If Trump won the presidency and assumed emergency powers, then yeah, I’d understand violence then. Might even advocate for it. But we’re a long way from that.

Instead, we have reached a point where we have to start worrying about the impact of all this. You have to admit—it takes a lot to make Donald Trump look like a victim. But that’s what he’ll look like to middle America if this violence continues. And it will continue.

There is, however, one person who might have the power to end it. No, not Hillary. I mean the candidate the protestors, peaceful and violent alike, undoubtedly admire the most. If this gets much worse, even though none of this is his fault, maybe Bernie Sanders could step up here. That would be actual leadership. But they might not listen even to him. Deep down, some of these people probably want Trump, because a Trump victory would confirm their deepest-held belief about what a fascist country this really is. They’ll erase out the part about how they helped make it so.

 

By: Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast, June 3, 2016

June 4, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Left Wing Protests, Violence | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“If Trump Wins, Will There Be Blood?”: Maybe It’s Time To Take Crazy At Face Value

That question has gone conspicuously unasked as we enumerate the possible outcomes of November’s election. The potential impact on the nation’s economy, its foreign policy and its standing in the world have all been duly analyzed. But there has been little, if any, discussion of the potential for violence.

It is, of course, Donald Trump’s name on the ballot that necessitates the discussion. His rallies have erupted into brawls with depressing frequency; his followers assaulting demonstrators while he eggs them on.

And then, there’s this: Last year, two South Boston brothers — Scott and Steve Leader — were arrested after allegedly peeing in the face of a homeless, 58-year-old Mexican immigrant sleeping on a bench. They beat him with a metal pole, breaking his nose. Authorities say Scott Leader explained himself thusly: “Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported.”

Trump’s initial response was simply to note that his followers “love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” If that is the sort of “passion” a few rallies and speeches incite, how much worse would it be in the event — God help us all — of an actual Trump victory? How emboldened in their bullyboy behavior would people like the Leader brothers become with one of their own in the White House?

And that’s not even the worst-case scenario. What if the far more likely thing happens? What if Trump loses? His followers are already filled with fury and an exaggerated sense of their own victimhood and entitlement. What happens if an embarrassingly emphatic repudiation is added to that mix?

Hate crimes might be the least of our problems. The greater worry might be terrorism.

In a nation conditioned to think of terrorism as the exclusive province of Muslim fanatics with difficult names, the idea will strike some as ridiculous. But to be sanguine about the danger of radical right violence is to pretend Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff in Nevada and the armed takeover of federal property in Oregon never happened. And it is to ignore a litany of radical right terror plots enacted or interdicted in recent years.

From the Oklahoma City bombing to the Atlanta Olympics bombing to a New York state plot to murder Muslims by radiation poisoning, to a massacre at an African-American church in Charleston, to the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, to the crashing of an airplane into an IRS office in Austin to a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs to, literally, dozens more, the radical right has hardly been shy about using violence to frighten people as a means of achieving their political goals — the dictionary definition of terrorism.

Small wonder Mark Potok, editor of Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center, does not laugh off the possibility of violence from aggrieved supporters of Donald Trump. Radical right terror, he says, “is a worry anyway, as we go through this huge demographic transition in the United States. But the thing about Trump’s voters is that they are angry, they are riled up, and they are expecting to win.” If and when they don’t, he says, terrorism might well be their response.

It’s not as unthinkable as some of us will want to believe. Too often, as the right has descended into tribalistic incoherence, the rest of us have underestimated the crazy, baselessly reassuring ourselves that they’ll go this far, but surely no further. And too often, we’ve been wrong. Maybe it’s time to abandon baseless reassurance. Maybe it’s time to take crazy at face value.

Will there be blood? Here’s a better question:

Will you honestly be surprised if there is?

 

By: Leonard Pitts, Jr., Columnist for The Miami Herald; The National Memo, May 11, 2016

May 12, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Trump Supporters, Violence | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Changing The Culture”: All Women Deserve The Right To Live Free From Fear

President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law on Thursday.

“All women deserve the right to live free from fear,” the president told those in attendance. “That’s what today is about.”

In 2011, VAWA lapsed for the first time since 1994, when House Republicans balked at enhanced protections for undocumented immigrants, Native Americans and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Studies have shown that the law — written by then-senator Joe Biden — dramatically reduced domestic violence by as much as 67 percent (PDF).

The law previously had been expanded and renewed twice with broad bipartisan support.

“This is your day. This is the day of the advocates, the day of the survivors. This is your victory,” Obama said. “This victory shows that when the American people make their voices heard, Washington listens.”

The bipartisan Senate bill that included the expanded protections was not even put up for a vote in the House last year. A GOP “civil war” that led to Speaker Boehner breaking the Hastert Rule — which requires a majority of the House majority to support any bill that gets a vote — was required before the bill was finally passed 288-138 earlier in February.

House Republicans also voted on their own version of the law without the new provisions, which failed to win majority support.

The law is so popular that Republican congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) recently claimed he voted for the law even though he only supported the failed Republican version.

“One of the great legacies of this law is it didn’t just change the rules, it changed our culture. It empowered people to start speaking out,” Obama said.

Despite the continued effectiveness of the law — violence against women is down 64 percent just in the last decade – 1 in 5 women will be raped during their lifetime, the president noted.

“There are still too many women in this country who live in fear of violence,” Biden said in his introduction of President Obama.

Not only does the law improve the criminal justice system’s response to crimes against women, it authorizes about $659 million a year over five years to fund grants for transitional housing, legal assistance, law enforcement training and hotlines.

It also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, adding stalking to the list of crimes that make immigrants eligible for protection, along with authorizing programs that help college campuses deal with sexual violence.

The president dedicated the victory to the victims of domestic violence.

 

By: Jason Sattler, The National Memo, March 7, 2013

March 8, 2013 Posted by | Domestic Violence, Violence | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Fanatics Gone Wild”: Free Guns, The Daily Caller’s Second Amendment Remedy Campaign

The Daily Caller, that bastion of faux journalism created by faux journalist and former bow-tie wearer Tucker Carlson, is giving away one gun every week until election day. Just in case the vote doesn’t go as elected, I suppose, Daily Caller readers will be able to exercise Second Amendment remedies, courtesy of the man who recently hosted convicted criminal and fraudster Jack Abramoff, saying he has “a decency I’m willing to vouch for.”

Via The Daily Caller:

The Daily Caller will be giving away one gun per week until Election Day – November 6, 2012.

The FMK9C1 is an American-made high capacity 9mm designed by Jim Pontillo and manufactured in
California. Each gun is engraved with the Bill of Rights and comes in one of three colors.

To enter this week’s contest, simply sign up below to receive updates from The Daily Caller. Our DC
Morning emails are an informative and amusing way to keep up with the latest news.

To enter the giveaway you must complete the form below agreeing to all terms and conditions associated with the contest.

I assume the “one of three colors” consist of red, white, and blue.

For those readers not intimately familiar with Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, last month a Daily Caller writer penned a piece lamenting how his bike was stolen, and — although he has absolutely no proof whatsoever — the thief must have been a black person.

In 2010, Tucker Carlson mocked national security, gays, Arabic translators, the military, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Joe.My.God. notes that Tucker Carlson is a “proud gay-basher.”

In a very extensive report, Media Matters profiles the gun manufacturer. An excerpt:

The gun’s manufacturer, Jim Pontillo, has attacked American progressives for supposedly seeking to promote communism in America and claimed that “people calling for secession” are not “fanatics who hate America” but are instead acting “in the Founding tradition.” 

This ad is currently running on the website’s NRA-sponsored “Guns and Gear” page: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/callerguns.jpg

Who knows, maybe the Susan G. Komen Foundation can go in on the deal and add a pink gun to the ”one of three colors”?

30,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. Tucker Carlson’s disgusting readership drive may backfire.

 

By: David badash, The New Civil Rights Movement, May 24, 2012

 

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012, Violence | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Arm Your Kindergarteners”: More Guns, Fewer Hoodies

The debate over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin seems to be devolving into an argument about the right to wear hoodies, but it really does not appear to be a promising development.

Congress, which never draws any serious conclusions from terrible tragedies involving gunplay, did have time on Wednesday to fight about whether Representative Bobby Rush of Chicago violated the House dress code when he took off his suit jacket, revealing a gray sweater he was wearing underneath, and pulled the hood up over his head.

You may remember that Geraldo Rivera took measure of the Martin case and determined that the moral was: young men, throw out your hoodies. Even Rivera’s son said he was embarrassed. But, hey, we’re talking about it. Mission accomplished.

“Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum,” Congressman Rush said, before he was hustled off for violating the rule against wearing hats on the House floor.

This is pretty much par for the course. Whenever there is a terrible shooting incident somewhere in America, our politicians talk about everything except whether the tragedy could have been avoided if the gunman had not been allowed to carry a firearm.

You would think that this would be a great time to address the question of handgun proliferation, but it has hardly come up in Washington at all. This is because most politicians are terrified of the National Rifle Association. Also, the small band of gun control advocates are busy with slightly less sweeping issues, such as their ongoing but still utterly futile effort to make it illegal to sell a weapon to anyone on the terror watch list.

The only serious debate Congress is likely to have this year on the subject of guns involves whether to allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their handguns into other states.

Say you were from — oh, maybe Florida, where George Zimmerman was carrying a legal, loaded pistol while he was driving around his gated community, looking for suspicious characters. In Florida, even non-Floridians can get a concealed carry permit. You can get the application online. From the Department of Agriculture. (“Fresh from Florida.”)

Under a bill sponsored by Senator Mark Begich, Democrat of Alaska, you could take your Florida permit and your Florida loaded handgun and travel anyplace in the country, including the states where the police investigate every permit application, and say yes to relatively few. “If this law existed today, George Zimmerman could carry a loaded hidden handgun in Times Square. Today,” said Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

And that would be the moderate version.

Senators John Thune of South Dakota and David Vitter of Louisiana have a competing bill that would relieve residents of states like Vermont and Arizona — which don’t require concealed weapons permits at all — from the cumbersome process of actually putting in some paperwork before they tote their handguns to, say, California or New Jersey. Under this one, Jared Loughner, who shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a judge, a small child and four other innocent Arizonans, could have brought his loaded handgun to Times Square.

There is a serious trend toward states letting their residents carry concealed weapons with no more background check than you need to carry a concealed nutcracker. All of this is based on the gun rights lobby’s argument that the more armed law-abiding people we have on our streets, the safer everybody will be. Under this line of thinking, George Zimmerman’s gated community was safer because Zimmerman was driving around with his legal gun. You can bet that future Trayvon Martins who go to the store to buy Skittles after dark will seriously consider increasing their own safety by packing heat. The next confrontation along these lines may well involve a pair of legally armed individuals, legally responding to perceived, albeit nonexistent, threats by sending a bullet through somebody’s living room window and hitting a senior citizen watching the evening weather report.

The Violence Policy Center has a list of 11 police officers and 391 private citizens who have been killed over the last five years by people carrying concealed weapons for which they had a permit. That includes a man in Florida who killed four women, including his estranged wife, in a restaurant in 2010 and another Floridian who opened fire at Thanksgiving, killing four relatives.

You would think all of this would cause states to stop and rethink. But no. And, personally, I’m worn down from arguing. Florida, follow your own star. Arizona, arm your kindergarteners. Just stop trying to impose your values on places where the thinking is dramatically different.

 Really, just leave us alone. If you don’t like our rules, don’t come here. Is that too much to ask?

 

By: Gail Collins, Op Ed Columnist, The New York Times, March 28, 2012

March 29, 2012 Posted by | Civil Rights, Violence | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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