WASHINGTON, June 6, 2016 — Riots and physical violence have become synonymous with Donald Trump’s rallies, even expected. But the violence has escalated to physical attacks on Trump supporters as they arrive or attempt to leave.
In Chicago in March, the Trump campaign canceled a rally at the University of Illinois due to “growing safety concerns.” Later in March, protestors blocked roads to a Trump rally near Phoenix. There were larger-scale protests and some violence in response to a Trump rally in Costa Mesa, California in April.
The violence escalated further last week at a Trump rally in San Jose, California.
According to ABC News, San Diego Police reported that approximately 300 to 400 protesters gathered outside the rally. They hurled food and pelted one woman with eggs. They shoved, threw punches, pounded on vehicles and left some people bloodied. They ripped t-shirts off some Trump supporters and grabbed and burned Trump hats.
The police made four arrests. A policeman sustained injuries when he was struck by a protester with a metal object.
Some, like Politcususa’s Jason Easley, blame Trump for the violence at his rallies. According to Easley, “Donald Trump is intentionally inciting violence for political gain. Trump is pulling pages straight out Richard Nixon’s 1968 playbook, with the difference being that Nixon was exploiting an explosive cultural time to paint himself as the law and order candidate. Trump is creating divisiveness and conflict to anoint himself as the strong leader who can bring order back to society.”
Did Trump create the divisiveness and conflict? Is he responsible for the attacks on his supporters? Did he force protestors to inflict harm on them?
Is attending a Stanford frat party, and even drinking there, an invitation to rape?
Upon informing his supporters of the cancellation of his rally in Chicago, the Trump campaign said in a statement, “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
In response to the threat of riots at Trump’s Chicago rally, Hillary Clinton condemned violence and said, “All of us, no matter what party we belong to or what views we hold, should not only say loudly and clearly that violence has no place in our politics, we should use our words and deeds to bring Americans together.”
Also in response to Chicago, Bernie Sanders tweeted, “We do things a little different in this campaign: We bring people TOGETHER. #BernieInIL.”
Clinton’s condemnation of violence was less absolute after San Jose.
“I condemn all violence in our political arena. I condemned it when Donald Trump was inciting it and congratulating people who were engaging in it … [Trump has] set a very bad example. He created an environment in which it seemed to be acceptable for someone running for president to be inciting violence, to be encouraging his supporters, now we’re seeing people who are against him responding in kind.”
It’s wrong, but he started it.
Liberal voters say they value peace. But as one protestor in Costa Mesa said, “We could be peaceful and do things different, but if we did, we wouldn’t get our voice heard.” Another observed, “I’m protesting because I want equal rights for everybody, and I want peaceful protest. I knew this was going to happen. It was going to be a riot. He deserves what he gets.”
The violence and rioting are being blamed on Trump, but even when Trump’s supporters have escalated it, it has almost always started with his critics. And now they have chosen not to engage in protest, but in riot.
A riot, not a protest, is what happened in San Jose. And when it began, the police stood by.
The editors of the National Review observed, “For all his faults, Donald Trump is not committing acts of violence—unlike the contemptible goons who have descended on his rallies in recent months.”
The media have the function of reporting news and laying out the facts. But they are not always interested in reporting unbiased facts.
Because of a veto by President Reagan, “fair and balanced reporting” is no longer a goal of the FCC. This leaves an open window for one-sided opinions and biased reporting. What the public learns of each presidential candidate is what the media wants them to learn.
The media have prominently reported that Clinton and Sanders have disavowed the violence at Trump rallies. The media have been less assiduous at reporting the sources of that violence. Some has been promoted and organized by MoveOn.Org, a movement funded by George Soros. Soros, not incidentally, is a loyal and active supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Jessica Chasmar, a writer for the Washington Times, reported that the liberal billionaire donated $6 million to the leading super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Blame for the violence at Trump rallies is being placed squarely on the shoulders of Donald Trump. But just because mainstream media reports it does not make it true.
The responsibility for violence lies in the hands of those who commit it; no one makes them do it. They can, however, be incited.That incitement is not coming from Trump. Don’t count on the media to make that point clear.