The more I see of these interruptions at rallies as well as physical confrontations by Trump protesters, the more I think of them as kids who have no clue.
For one thing, they have no clue that they are going against much progress that has been made over the years about “responsibility.” It used to be – and still is – that women were blamed for being attacked, because they wore “provocative” clothing or had suggestive, permissive behavior. A long time has been needed to disavow this point of view. Now, a presidential candidate makes provocative statements, and is prevented from speaking at his rallies. Interruptions are continual, attacks against him are sometimes personal – that is, physical – were it nor for the Secret Service.
I hope my anti-Donald Trump credentials don’t have to be shown. This isn’t about who the candidate is. It’s just that I can’t think of anything more damaging to the give & take of democracy than preventing a person from speaking or not letting him say his full piece.
During the State of the Union Address a few years ago, President Obama was talking about the Affordable Care Act when a Republican member of Congress shouted, “You lie!”
Everybody gasped. It was boldly rude. But this self-justification for being rude is catching on. Where have people found this idea acceptable: “I don’t like what you’re saying – I’m going to stop you from speaking.”
These protesters may think they are being heroic, saving America from a tyrant. They would be surprised to hear themselves described as tyrants. But that IS the kind of bullying they are exhibiting.
They have no clue as to how to win over people. It’s not done through force – it’s done through sharing: sharing their story.
All that they’re doing now is riotous. They are merely stoking up ill feelings towards they themselves (and ironically, firming up support for Trump). They do it this way because they want a solution to Trump that is immediate. Change, however, rarely occurs instantly. Changing people’s minds takes an effort – it must be thoughtful and peaceful.
As for the other candidates’ blaming Trump for all of the trouble, it’s what candidates do – dump on an opponent for any possible reason. Even the liberals were “blaming the victim.”
What happens if other candidates are stopped from speaking?Bernie Sanders walked away from a rally because of a protest by some people from Black Lives Matter, who took over the microphone. Such a protest could never happen at a Hillary Clinton rally because I suspect she has more Secret Service protection than all of the other candidates combined.
The actions by protesters have been amateurish – and ugly. They may be awarding medals to each other. But their self-satisfaction is short-sighted. “I don’t like what you say – so I’m going to stop you from speaking.”