So yesterday at a rally in San Jose for angry scarecrow Donald Trump, his supporters were violently attacked by anti-Trump protesters. It would’ve been nice to never have to write a sentence like that, but being that this is an election season out of a Hieronymus Bosch fever dream maybe it was always only a matter of time. What happened was the kind of thing we’ve seen at Trump rallies directed at “undesirables” for quite some time now, only amped up maybe even further and redirected. Anti-Trump demonstrators reportedly threw eggs at Trump supporters, taunted them, jumped on their cars, punched them, tore those stupid “Make America Great Again” hats off their heads then set them on fire. In one instance, a person was left bloodied; in another, a woman was cornered, screamed at and spat on and ultimately egged. It was ugly. It was chaotic. And it was absolutely un-fucking-acceptable.
There are those already defending the violence in San Jose. Vox editor Emmett Rensin tweeted in the aftermath of the incident, “If Trump comes to your town, start a riot,” “If Trump is Hitler then you’ve got no business condemning rioters,” and “It’s never a shame to storm the barricades set up around a fascist.” Bullshit. You can assert 100% correctly that Donald Trump is a dangerous fledgling demagogue who deserves to be roundly rejected and still hold that beating the hell out of people is dead wrong. Violence in the pursuit of a political goal, even stopping Trump, is just violence dressed up and given sanction by supposedly noble intents. Violence is wrong. Simple as that. It’s wrong when Trump’s idiot rabble unleashes it on anyone it considers an enemy of its dictator idol and his vision of what America should be and it’s wrong when those who oppose Trump turn it around and draw first blood. There’s little doubt Trump’s supporters provocatively tried to shout down protesters before things went pear-shaped, but that’s just no excuse for the kind of behavior we saw yesterday.
Not only is violence self-evidently the wrong way to approach the Trump threat, it will only lead to claims of victimhood from Trump himself. The last thing anyone with a brain wants is for Donald Trump and the conservative media apparatus he commands to be able to reasonably paint those who stand against Trump as the real problem, the truly dangerous ones in his campaign. Not only would that be a gargantuan failure optics-wise, it would almost certainly lead to tragedy. Trump’s people have already been told by their Vienna sausage-fingered god that peaceful protesters might actually be dangerous terrorists and should therefore be dealt with harshly. An actual outbreak of violence against Trump supporters will only confirm that myth and lead some reactionary hick with a personal arsenal at home to take matters into his own hands either at a rally or maybe just for the hell of it on a grander scale. Because that’s something else about violence — it invariably leads to more violence. And in this case, you have to understand the kind of people you’re dealing with.
Bottom line here: Keep your cool, stay above the fray, be better than them and do not let this happen again. Do not contribute to and even escalate the savagery the Donald Trump campaign already represents, has visited, and will no doubt continue to visit on America. Because if you do — if the left becomes as radical and as quick to violence as Trump’s right — he will win. Potentially in more ways than one.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.