The Corner

Politics & Policy

Are We Headed for an Ugly, Violent Incident at a Trump Rally?

Writing at The Atlantic, Peter Beinart argues that we may soon see real political violence, and he has a point:

The United States is headed toward a confrontation, the likes of which it has not seen since 1968, between leftist activists, who believe in physical disruption as a means of drawing attention to injustice, and a candidate eager to forcibly put down that disruption in order to make himself look tough.

While Beinart seems to respect the leftist activists, I’d put things a bit differently. Two sets of political and cultural arsonists are on a collision course — the angry fringe leftist who lives to disrupt versus the angry fringe Trump supporter who is begging for a fight. And when two sides are itching for a confrontation, they usually get it.

The video below — of men shoving a black woman protester out of a Trump rally — demonstrates the volatility of the situation, and Trump has already shown that he’ll lavish praise on people who take “security” into their own hands:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ltUG0fPHdOo

It would be painfully easy for leftist activists to position themselves close to a group of strategically-chosen Trump supporters, initiate a disruption, and then resist the instant the crowd tried to push them out. A racially-charged brawl would be endlessly replayed on the nightly news, complete with injured, bleeding victims, and national tensions would start to boil over. 

With all the attention on the rage of the Trump voter (exaggerated for the vast majority — understated for the viciously racist minority), the media has neglected the rage on the Left. Had the Democratic candidates not capitulated so completely and immediately to Black Lives Matter, we’d be seeing continued disruptions at rallies from coast to coast. For all their anger, Trump voters aren’t shutting down shopping districts on Black Friday, blocking interstates, or turning college campuses into three-ring circuses. 

So far, the far Left has trained most of its fire on its more moderate allies. That could soon change, and if it does, Beinart is right — we could see the worst political violence since 1968.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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