|Anti and pro Trump partisans confront each other|
in Chicago Friday night.
A lot of the trouble comes with Trump's attitude that he's going to do what he wants, when he wants, without ever consulting with anybody else.
He lies to get his way. He's a classic bully who gets what he wants at the snap of a finger, and he's not going to stop now.
That's to everybody's detriment. Except Trump, of course.
It appears a lot of the trouble in Chicago Friday night came when Trump abruptly canceled the rally for safety reasons "after meeting with law enforcement."
Note the artful dodge here. Somebody in Trump's camp probably did talk with someone in law enforcement, so you technically have a "meeting" here with law enforcement.
However, both Chicago and University of Illinois police said they played no part in the decision to cancel the rally and as Acting Police Superintendent John J. Escalante said, "were kind of taken by surprise" by the announcement to call off the rally.
Surprising the police like this is never a good situation, especially when you have two large groups of people angry at each other - the Trump partisans and those demonstrating against the candidate.
Police usually have crowd control methods that work a lot better when they know something is coming, i.e. a rally with 10,000 people being cancelled.
I bet the police, through no real fault of their own, were caught flat footed by the announcement the rally would be canceled, and inevitably chaos erupted.
This plays right into Trump's (small) hands and perhaps that was his plan all along. Trump had been under escalating criticism for the violence at his rallies.
Now, he had a bunch of anti-Trump protesters here, and an abrupt rally cancellation would inflame the situation. The anti-Trump crowd would get into fights, and then Trump could blame the liberal "goons" for all the trouble at his rallies, deflecting the blame away from Trump and his supporters.
I might have gotten too conspiratorial here with my theory but I wouldn't put it past Trump.
A Trump rally earlier Friday in St. Louis, which until Chicago was one of the worst yet, lends credence to my theory.
There's no question Trump is a goon. In St. Louis he said of the protests: "Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long (to kick protesters out) is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore....There used to be consequences. There are none anymore."
Essentially he was saying it was OK to beat up a protester, then. I'm all for arresting and charging someone if, IF they're doing something illegal. There's you consequence right there. It shouldn't be assault, as Trump advocates, at least implicitly.
I get it that Trump isn't the one that made many of his supporters so angry. A complex, messy stew of economic turmoil, social change and other frustrations did that, not Trump. But Trump is using that anger to his advantage, and creating a show by whipping up that anger until we literally get sucker punches being thrown at his rallies.
Trump is a showman, and he realizes the rage he fans just makes the show all that much better. At least to his fans. And his ego. It's all about his ego, after all.
Trump said the protesters were "so bad for our country." Really? Protest, peaceful protest, anyway, is enshrined in the First Amendment.
But I know how much Trump hates the First Amendment except in the moments it benefits him.
Not all anti-Trump demonstrators are blameless. True, rhe vast majority were peaceful, as were the vast majority of the Trump supporters, Neither side should resort to violence. It was a fail to see fists flying.
I'm also gratified there were large anti-Trump protests, but if their aim was to shut down the Trump rally rather than just demonstrate against it, that makes me uncomfortable. Free speech, even odious free speech, should be encouraged, not shut down.
The antidote to bad free speech is more free speech, so of course peaceful demonstrations are fine here.
I'm definitely no fan of Trump's GOP rivals in the presidential campaign, but I have to say they were spot on and made some very good points in reacting to Trump's Friday Night Fiasco..
"There aren't fights breaking out at my rallies, Ted Cruz rallies, John Kasich rallies, Bernie Sanders rallies," noted GOP candidate Marco Rubio, the Senator from Florida.
Cruz correctly chimed in: "There's no doubt that a candidate bears responsibility for the culture that is set from the top."
Which proves Cruz and Rubio at least occasionally understand something Trump does not. That with rights come responsibilities. We are free to say what we want in this nation, but there are consequences to what we say.
Trump, as noted above, wants consequences all right. As long as he never has to deal with any of thoae consequences.
Consequences, apparently, are for the little people.