Brownshirts invade Trump rally
In advance of a Trump rally on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus on Friday night, protesters flooded the arena with the express goal of shutting down the event. Physical altercations are reported to have taken place between the protesters and Trump supporters. With the safety of his supporters in mind, Trump rightly canceled the event. When this was announced, the protesters erupted in applause, their mission accomplished – to stifle opposing points of view.
Many of the protesters were heard to have chanted “Bernie! Bernie!” after the cancelation was announced. I doubt that Bernie Sanders would openly condone what took place at the arena, but he has condoned – even praised – the totalitarian tactics of the Castro brothers. Would he call on his supporters to refrain from such actions hostile to the First Amendment? Scanning social media this evening, I’ve seen some Bernie supporters laudably condemn what occurred, but I’ve seen just as many, if not more, claiming these are Trump’s just deserts.
I have no doubt that the perpetrators of last night’s lawlessness applaudingly condoned the likening of Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, all the while engaging in real actions straight out of the playbook of the Sturmabteilung – the infamous “Brownshirts.” Mechanically enforcing the will of the Nazi Party, the Brownshirts disrupted meetings of opposing parties, employing force and violence to make their mark and discourage dissent. This is precisely what these thugs did last night, abandoning the law and civil discourse to perversely embrace the tactics of a man and a party they witlessly accuse Trump and the Republican party of embodying.
This, though, is a hallmark of statists – they accuse their opponents of doing what they themselves do. They make the comparison to Hitler without a sense of irony, carelessly analogizing Trump’s proposal to temporary ban the entry of Muslims to the United States to Hitler’s Final Solution. They call Trump a fascist and shamelessly employ fascist tactics against him and his supporters.
Regardless of what one thinks about Donald Trump, he has a right to speak, and his supporters have a right to peaceably assemble. Those rights are enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution. Our nation cherishes that right and has historically celebrated the ability of opponents on an issue to speak their minds and debate. However, it’s a right statists on college campuses embrace when it’s their message they want to shout from the rooftops but condemn when faced with differing viewpoints. The selective application of freedom of speech is no freedom at all.
The left paint themselves as eminently tolerant of others, but that façade crumbles when put to the test. Just look at the excoriation of Caitlyn Jenner by the left when the transgendered reality star made supportive statements about Ted Cruz. Last night was not at all different. Trump comes to Chicago, where he has many supporters, but his leftist detractors rule the day through intimidation, violence, and anarchy. The mob ruled last night, giving the civil political process our nation has long enjoyed a miss.
The Chicago Police did an admirable job of keeping a bad situation from going worse, but I fear that this lot of students cum Brownshirts will only embolden others. Given the circumstances, I believe that Trump did the right thing to cancel the rally, but he has sent a message: you can silence me by adopting such tactics. For statists, this could serve as an open invitation to storm rallies across the country, inciting violence and usurping the rule of law.
Just as Trump and his supporters have the right to assemble and speak, his opponents likewise have the right to peaceably protest. They do not have the right to overrun Trump’s rallies, nor to silence opposition. This is an important point. The rights we enjoy in this nation are not enjoyed the world over. We have the opportunity to speak and debate and engage in the free flow of ideas. This is the very foundation of the civil society. The first step toward tyranny is to remove that ability.
This ideology says, “If I don’t like what you have to say, it’s perfectly justifiable to shut you down.” Of what else is such an ideology capable? History gives us the answer, and it’s deeply troubling. To be sure, it’s a long road from point A to point Z, but for those to whom the end justifies the means, it’s a smooth, straight road.
From American Thinker
Sheriff Clarke: Protesters at Trump Rally Are 'Anarchists' Who 'Advocate Violence'