This is Not Your Father’s Politics
At a June 2 rally for Presidential candidate Donald Trump in San Jose, CA , Trump supporters were pushed, punched, and pelted with eggs by protesters. In one clip from Foxnews.com, a lone Trump female supporter is pinned against the doors of the convention center where the rally was held by angry protesters throwing eggs and shouting profanities, while security personnel hold the doors shut. The lady is finally allowed inside, but only after enduring long minutes of verbal and physical abuse.
In response to the riotous and violent protests, the Mayor of San Jose said “At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign.” It is difficult for me to imagine that the Trump supporters were pushing, punching, and pelting themselves with eggs. It appears rather obvious that the “irresponsible behavior” came from the other side. Blaming Donald Trump for the violence is as misdirected as blaming a forest for the wildfire that destroys it. Imagine someone saying “If those huge trees and think vegetation were not so flammable, this would not have happened.”
The increasing violence is not about Donald Trump, it is about Saul Alinsky. It was Alinsky who first advocated using any public gathering or event as an excuse to rail against authority. The protesters of today are not lobbying for liberty but for licentiousness. Their organizers reject reason and embrace rioting as legitimate political expression.
Unfortunately, responding to this behavior by lamenting how things used to be only feeds the fury of those who rail against that very history. If this self-defeating and destructive trajectory is to be changed, it will not be by returning to 1960, but to 1760. When crowds began to move toward violence, the leaders of the colonies condemned the violence and proposed reasoned discussion of the issues by a well-informed populace. John Adams’ Committees of Correspondence was one of dozens of news-letters and circulars promoting liberty based on law rather than lawless rebellion against authority.
That distinction led America to a Declaration of Independence and not to a degradation of society. Our war for independence was clearly to be one seeking a just government rather than anarchy. The self-evident truths of the American Declaration boldly assert that “to secure these rights, governments are established.” The principle that man needs citizen led government is completely counter to the anarchy and violent rejection of government proposed by today’s protesters. The sad truth however is that having a reasonable conversation with a wild-eyed mob is about as effective as discussing healthy diet options with a hungry alligator.
What are the alternatives? That will be discussed in the next issue.