Friday, March 11, 2016


Just a typical day in the Trump campaign:
Shocking video shows black protester covered in blood at chaotic Trump rally in St. Louis

A demonstrator at a St. Louis rally for GOP front runner Donald Trump had his face bloodied and was taken to an ambulance by police officers, according to video posted online and the New York Daily News.

Thirty-two people were arrested at this rally. It was followed by a scheduled rally in Chicago that the campaign canceled, citing security concerns.

BooMan thinks Trump is pushing his luck:

I don't think his defenders are going to leave him -- not even the mainstream Republicans who are inching toward a rapprochement with him. I'm not even sure he'll suffer very much if protesters suffer serious injuries at Trump rallies.

Look, Trump fans are authoritarians. I know that a pair of political science professors wrote this week in The Washington Post that Trump's supporters aren't really distinguished by authoritarianism -- but what they said was "we find no evidence that Trump supporters are any more 'authoritarian' (at least by common measures) than those who like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) or even Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)." But that just suggests to me that Republicans in general are authoritarian. (As Yastreblyansky noted this week, authoritarianism was a strong predictor of support for George W. Bush in 2004.)

If you're authoritarian, and Trump is your strongman, then, by extension, I imagine you're likely to think that his supporters represent legitimate authority, and the protesters represent lawless attempts to usurp that authority.

Remember, many of the Trump protesters are black. Some are white, but they're left-leaning.

Think of the differences in white and non-white reactions to police violence. This December 2014 CBS poll is typical (via Polling Report):

White conservatives are especially likely to believe that if force is used against blacks (or angry white lefties), it's justified. The nightly local news, Fox, and the Drudge Report scare the crap out of them all the time with tales of swarthy and/or scruffy people who want to do them harm.

So even if there's really bad violence at Trump rallies, the Republican rank and file will assume the victims deserved it. And I'm not sure the even moderate whites will find that this violence shocks their consciences.

Trump is playing with fire. But he's not going to get burned at the ballot box -- not with the voters he's trying to reach.


Gerald Parks said...

Hey ...the RW nut jobs are getting what they've been "predicting" ...a race war!

Oh my ...just in time for the nightly news!

And wouldn't you know it ... its the Blacks (Black Lives Matter) and lefty whites fault!

WOW's GOP/Republican governance and obstructionism in action!

Never Ben Better said...

A couple of folks at Booman noted with apparent approval that Sanders supporters were visibly among the protesters shutting down Trump's Chicago rally tonight. This was my comment:

You do realize the danger of having Bernie supporters who shut down Trump rallies being morphed by the media into the villains, right? Portrayed as wild-eyed radical socialists trampling on Real Americans' right to free speech and assembly? While the AA protesters get Black Panthered?

Ludicrous? To us, of course. But I remember this: four kids got gunned down at Kent State and a sizable segment of the American citizenry thought they got exactly what they deserved.


(Quoting article) The reaction among the young was immediate: a nationwide strike involving 850 campuses and 4 million students, and a powerful song by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young that condemned President Nixon and the National Guard. Among their elders, the reaction was largely the opposite. A Gallup Poll taken shortly after the shootings at Kent State revealed that 58% of the respondents believed the responsibility for the deaths lay with the demonstrators; only 11% blamed the National Guard. As the author of a book about the shootings would later write, "These were the most popular murders ever committed in the United States."


I remember that. I was part of the strike at my own college, out demonstrating, stunned that this could happen, even more stunned at the pro-killing backlash.

We are on a very dark and dangerous path blazed by Trump. We don't need our side helping to widen the way. Most especially when it's the left that's most readily demonized as troublemakers while the right claims the mantle of guardians of law and order.

Mike said...

Remember, there were a lot of people that thought four dead kids at Kent State was just fine and dandy. And those same kinds of people are still with us today. No doubt, many Trump supporters would consider it a deserving fate for those "others" who deign to publicly protest Trump's inflammatory rhetoric.

jsrtheta said...

I hate to go all Inigo Montoya on you, but I don't think this means what you think it means. While one must learn from the past, one still has to put it in context.

I keep hearing how this is reminiscent of Nixon and Wallace. I lived through those times, and while there are some parallels, there are some huge motherfuckin' differences, too.

The silent majority of Nixon's time consisted of very different people in a very different country. The older folk of that time drank beer and fought in WWII. (And thanks for that.) The older folk now (of whom I am one) smoked a lot of pot and some of us even took acid. We became racially conscious where our parents never really did. Christ, we had a "counterculture." What I think you're off on is how the majority views the world today, even the quote unquote conservatives.

Trump is not even polling a majority of a minority - Republicans. There is only so high he can go, and I think he's reached that level already. Do you think Kasich voters will go to him? Some, sure, but not many. Rubio voters? (And, Jesus, I actually heard Rubio on TV tonight making sense and almost sounding - gasp - thoughtful. But I digress.) Not a chance. There is certainly still a sizable redneck/asshole/clueless constituency out there. But there's also a constituency that has learned not to believe presidents, not to engage in useless wars...okay, that last one, maybe not so much. But still - How many Dems is Trump really going to get? How many independents? Answer? Not many more. Because they would already be voting for him in the primaries, and the numbers don't add up. Should he get the nomination and lose (both of which are not unlikely, especially the nomination part) we may see some real splintering, but nothing like a popular uprising, because he is the candidate of a shrinking segment of the American people.

I may be whistling past the graveyard (and trust me, at my age, I don't say that lightly), but I don't think so. Remember, the Wallace people were little different from Nixon people. That ain't the case here.

Never Ben Better said...

I hope you're right, Jeff, I really do, but....

Well, we'll see who's closer to correct. I sure don't mind being wrong in something like this!

Feud Turgidson said...

JFC, I could have written Jeff Ryan's piece; not the same way, but he makes my point probably better than I've tried here.

I keep saying "1964". It's not going to resonate with too many these days, because to retain a memory of a general awarement of what it FELT like 52 years ago means you had to be at least a teen then, so ~65 now. (Not old anymore! Not when SO FREAKING MANY of us are that or more...WE SAY SO!).

Anyway, what happened with Goldwater happened at 1964 pacing, not that of today's Online Age. Maybe due to where I was living, I was more immediately conscious of the 1964 RNC Convention at the Cow Palace than if it'd be held at any other major center likely in those days (Seattle, maybe Portland, would make sense today; not then.). The build-up to the RNC nominating Goldwater was way slower, and bubbling up from the nasty Bircher innards of the GOP having compressed without relief for 32 years of liberal federal governance (including Ike).

But that all unfolded during summer break, where the biggest demands on my time were Legion ball. And after that took weeks to months of work to 'brand' Goldwater from radical to extremist to unstable to likrly a fucking sociopath mass murderer. This Drumpf thing is happening in MARCH, the branding transition NOW, the line-ups to 'participate' in Die MeisterDrumpfers von Milwaukeeburg at the American Ehrenhalle is NOW. Within the next 10 days the RNC is going to be stuck with a nominee that two thirds or more of the American People TM are going to spend the ensuing 7 months dumping on.

There will be blood.

Ten Bears said...

Kent State was my Sixteenth birthday. In another year, I marched down to War. To learn how to fight a revolution.

1) I openly encourage these animals to try that with me. I will stand my ground.

2) The Bernie Bros are giving me call to regret changing my registration to democrat to primary for Sanders. I won't vote the Retard, that's a given, but it's starting to look like come November I won't vote the democrat even if Sanders tops the ticket.

Republican v Republican Lite is not a choice.

jsrtheta said...

I have been wrong more times than I care to remember, and I claim no crystal ball. And the extreme difference the Internet makes for today's elections may work something like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, if only by analogy.

But to say that Clinton is "Republican Lite" is shallow and downright wrong. I mean, as they say in science, "It's so wrong, it's not even wrong!" Look, I lived through prior Children's Crusades: "Get clean for Gene!" and "I'm from Massachusetts, so don't blame me!". (And I am from Massachusetts.) But there is truth to the saying that "Politics is the art of the possible," and Bernie ain't no artist. Nor do I wish to watch four years of ineffective leadership in the name of feels or "principles." Even if somehow Bernie were to get elected (which I put up there with the odds of me being on the next space station flight), you are not going to see a huge flip in Congress. More to the point, Bernie has hijacked much of the party without doing anything for other Dems. How enthusiastic will local elected Dems be to help him out?

Last year Hillary raised $18 million for downticket Dems. What did Bernie do? Fuck-all.

Remember, you have to work with the situation that exists, not a fairy-dust-sprinkled High Ideal. So people can cling to their their purity. And then watch what happens when a Republican gets elected president. How comforting will your "principles" be then?