Friday, March 11, 2016

Hot Tempered Hustings

During the Miami Republican Presidential Debate, Donald Trump was asked about violence associated with some of his campaign appearances.  Trump deflected any responsibility for rowdiness at rallies. However, Trump seemed to justify supporters "swinging back" at political protesters at his events.

These assertions come at the heels of an assault alleged by Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by Trump spokesman Corey Lewendowski.   Breitbart News corporately refused to stand by their conservative reporter concerning the Trump spokesman incident.  And Trump social media warriors sought to savage the credibility of Fields. But CSPAN videotape documents Lewindowski's thuggery. 

The Breitbart News' lackluster support of Fields prompted Breitbart News spokesman Kurt Bardela to resign.   Bardella blames an ugly cycle of behavior which seems to follow the Trump campaign and Breitbart News seems to minimize. It should be noted that some Breitbart News staffers think that an infusion of cash during the summer of 2015 might pay for favorable coverage of the Trump campaign.

Another Trump rally in North Carolina was infamous for a Trump supporter sucker punching a protester as he was being escorted from the venue.


The 78 year old assailant later was quoted as saying: "The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don't know who he is, he might be with a terrorist organization." He has been charged and given a $25,000 bond.

A Trump rally at the University of Illinois- Chicago had to be cancelled for security reasons because of a riotous atmosphere. As is typical in campaigns, Trump issued far too many tickets, leaving a bunch of supporters out on the streets.  There were protesters outside the venue. But a number of Black Lives Matter activists and Bernie Sanders partisans agitated inside the event causing chaos.

Although Trump did not get the optics of a mass rally in the Windy City, Fox News Channel gave Trump a friendly twenty minute phone interview while airing the chaos on the streets and the hall. Trump claimed that everyone was angry about no jobs, despite indications that protesters were socialists and social justice agitators.

Much to Trump's credit, he spoke in calming tones and did not further insult the opposition. But Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson followed by claiming these were examples of Alinsky-like tactics and giving justification to push back on organized chaos.

 While Trump should not be held accountable for the actions of every crazy supporter, he sets the tone for the campaign.  New Trump surrogate Dr. Ben Carson vexed that it might be a long hot summer. As seems that such anarchy and unrest only seems to be attaching to Trump's campaign, these hot tempered hustings and mixed messages may eventually boil over into violence, which  sullies the  American political hot stove. 

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