During last night’s debate, in response to a question about the rough treatment of some protesters at his rallies, Donald Trump said “we have some protesters who are bad dudes, they have done bad things.” Trump added:
They are swinging, they are really dangerous and they get in there and start hitting people. And we had a couple big, strong, powerful guys doing damage to people — not only the loudness, the loudness I don’t mind. But doing serious damage.
Trump’s response caused some to raise their eyebrows. But anyone who doubts that there are “bad dudes” among the anti-Trump protesters should watch film of the anti-Trump protests tonight in Chicago.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled one of his signature rallies on Friday, calling off the event in Chicago due to safety concerns after protesters packed into the arena where it was to take place.
The announcement that the billionaire businessman would postpone the rally until another day led a large portion of the crowd inside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion to break out into raucous cheers. Meanwhile, supporters of the candidate started chanting “We want Trump! We want Trump!”
There were isolated physical confrontations between some members of the crowd after the event was canceled.
There was no sign of Trump inside the arena on the college campus, where dozens of UIC faculty and staff had petitioned university administrators to cancel the rally. They cited concerns it would create a “hostile and physically dangerous environment” for students. . . .
Chicago community activist Quo Vadis said hundreds of protesters had positioned themselves in groups around the arena, and that they intend to demonstrate right after Trump takes the stage. Their goal, he said, is “for Donald to take the stage and to completely interrupt him. The plan is to shut Donald Trump all the way down.”
This is beyond bad dudeism. The left is attempting to “shut all the way down” the leading contender for the presidential nomination of one of our two major political parties. If the left has its way, Trump will not be able to speak in public. He will have to run the modern equivalent of a front-porch campaign.
With no sense of irony, the protesters, having successfully shut Trump down, chanted “this is what democracy looks like.” Many of them also chanted “Bernie,” suggesting that they really mean “this is what Democratic Socialism looks like.” They aren’t wrong.
I have criticized Donald Trump for what looks to me like latent authoritarian. But the left’s authoritarian streak has become patent. And by “the left,” I don’t just mean street protesters. I mean the Obama administration, including its Department of Justice.
This state of affairs doesn’t excuse Trump. If anything, it makes any flirtation with authoritarianism on his part more disturbing. If America can’t have two political parties willing to stand up for freedom of expression, it must have one.