trump rally

Via The Hill

A Trump protester was punched and kicked several times while being escorted out of a rally in Tucson, Ariz., by police.

Videos show a protester in an American flag shirt holding up a picture of Trump before being punched. Another protester walking right behind him is seen wearing a white KKK-style hood. Police immediately handcuffed the attacker, a black man.

Civility obviously cuts both ways. There is a difference between going to a Trump rally and silently protesting and going to a Trump rally carrying a defaced picture of the candidate and wearing a KKK-style hood. I’m not saying that the Trump crowd or Donald Trump, himself, would see the difference but in the one case the protesters are behaving as adults. In the other, you are actually acting worse than Trump. In yesterday’s case, getting your ass kicked was a logical and foreseeable consequence. Plus, in this age of micro-aggressions and trigger warnings, a black man who, rightfully, perceived he was being compared to a Klansman can probably make a really strong “fighting words” case. I don’t even like Trump and if I were on his jury he’d walk.

I don’t think this imagery is going to work well for Trump. He’s fomented this air of barely restrained violence in his events. If I were writing the script I’d say that he has done so to show that a) he’s one tough hombre and b) he’s telling his followers that they don’t have to take s*** from anyone. Now he’s attracting leftwing provocateurs of the anti-globalization/Occupy-Wall-Street sort who want to create violence. Mixing them with Trump supporters who may be culturally prone to settling disagreements with their fists is going to make this sort of beat down a daily event.

The net effect of this is going to be the meme of “violence” attaching itself to Trump in a way that “racist” and “sexist” never did. It is going to drive away many people who might have been inclined to support him. It is going to become the subject of any interview of Trump that does not take place on Fox News or Morning Joe or Sean Hannity’s show. And if a few lefties get an ass-whipping along the way, well, I see that as a feature not a bug. It might end up being the only useful thing they do in their piss-ant lives.