In a press availability last night in Chicago, Ted Cruz laid it all out there.
We need to learn to have disagreements without being disagreeable. To have disagreements while respecting human beings on the other side. Earlier today over thirty people were arrested at one rally. And then tonight, as violence broke out, the rally was canceled all together. Now, the responsibility for that lies with protesters who took violence into their own hands. But in any campaign responsibility starts at the top. Any candidate who is responsible for the culture of the campaign. And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.
This wasn’t the only statement that Cruz made. Earlier on Friday he gave a lengthier statement to Hugh Hewitt that really establishes his point well.
… there’s no doubt that a candidate bears responsibility for the culture that is set from the top. And you know, my approach … listen, it comes from how you view the voters. You know, Donald demands of the voters that they stand up and pledge their allegiance to him, pledge that they wold vote for him. As I mentioned last night, I think that gets it exactly backwards. This is a job interview. You know, kings and queens demand of their subjects that they pledge allegiance to them, but in America, we don’t pledge allegiance to men. We pledge allegiance to the flag. we pledge allegiance to the Constitution. But we don’t pledge allegiance to men. and this is very much .. each of us should be asking to work for 330 million Americans. And what I am doing is pledging my allegiance to you. And part of that is reflected on how you approach protesters, because if you are the monarch from on high, then protester is disloyal and needs to be cast out and punished.
That last line is killer. This is how so many at Trump events view protesters, and how so many Trump fans online view those who don’t worship him. They see disloyalty. And they want to punish it.
Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have correctly pointed out that you can’t tell someone to go start a fight and then feign innocence, which is what Donald Trump is and has been doing. In unrest and violence at his rallies, Trump is seeing the fruits of his campaign. And everyone knows it. But as I mentioned earlier, you simply cannot ignore what the leftist movement in America has become. The protest movement. It is organized, it is funded, it is violent at the time and place of their choosing, and they choose it for maximum media exposure. It would be absurd to ignore the reality of the groups who have instigated time and again in the past. They’ve been waiting for a moment like this, and they are going to milk it for everything it is worth. And it is worth plenty of cash.
Like Leon said, it’s really hard to find a good guy here.