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Protesters didn't stop Trump in Chicago. They helped him.

This is not an argument about morality. It's an argument about tactics.
Friday night, the streets of Chicago were boiling over with a toxic mixture of politics and violence. Meanwhile, Twitter was clogged with the triumphant tweeting of liberals.

Donald Trump had just called off his rally in the face of widespread protests, and many on the left were thrilled: We did it! We stopped Trump! We finally showed how to beat fascism!

I'm sorry, but you did no such thing. What you did was feed a fire that will likely grow in response.

Yes, Trump ignited the flames and he now seems to be going out of his way to stoke them. But the response of those of us who want to contain the fire should be to do everything we can to deprive it of oxygen. We certainly shouldn't be showering it with additional sparks.

This is not an argument about morality. It's an argument about tactics.

Donald Trump is a vile and vulgar authoritarian a man willing and eager to say anything to get attention, a demagogue who appears ready to burn down the Republican Party and plunge the American political system into chaos in order to advance his personal ambitions of power. It's crucially important that he fails in his bid for the presidency preferably by falling short of winning the Republican nomination, with the next best option being a landslide loss in the general election.

What's the best way to ensure that this happens? It depends. If you're a Republican in a state that hasn't yet voted, you should cast a ballot for someone else anyone else. But what if you're a Democrat or someone further to the left? In that case, the answer, for the moment, is: Do nothing at all.

In a colossal act of civic irresponsibility, the GOP and the media decided to allow Trump to reach and remain atop the polls for months without having to face serious scrutiny and criticism. Trump still managed to score the highest unfavorable ratings of any presidential candidate in either party. And now that negative stories and advertisements have begun to run, those numbers are rising even higher.

What do you think is likely to happen when the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of the party's nominee for president open fire on him without restraint in the summer and fall?

Trump is on track to lose massively in November. But one of the very few things that could change that is more nights like Friday on the streets of Chicago.

What did the protests actually accomplish? Yes, the Trump rally was called off. But the candidate himself ended up getting hours of free air time out of it, as he called in to MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN to discuss the night's events over unsettling footage of mob violence. He also got to portray himself as a martyr for free speech and his supporters as the victims of intolerance and aggression at the hands of left-wing activists. And in the days since Friday, Trump has gone even further to blame the violence at his rallies on "our communist friend" Bernie Sanders and threaten ominously that he might begin sending his supporters to disrupt Sanders events as retaliation.

Why would Trump embrace and encourage political violence instead of condemn it? Because he intuitively understands something that left-wing protesters apparently do not: When anarchy spreads, it's the toughest, most authoritarian candidate who benefits, since he gets to sell himself as the only one capable of restoring law and order. So if you want to stop Trump, don't contribute to stirring up trouble at his rallies.

Understanding this isn't complicated. All it takes is rudimentary analysis of the political situation. Why, then, are growing numbers of progressives going to Trump campaign events looking for trouble, and sometimes acting in foolish ways that might plausibly result in someone ending up dead? And why are people cheering on such behavior on social media?

Mostly, I suspect, because they are primarily concerned about their own moral stature about staking out a position of political purity, about taking a dramatic and bold public stand against racism and the rise of a distinctively American form of fascism in our midst. Because they desperately want to do something to stop Trump and what he represents.

The instinct is admirable. Even noble. But it is also extremely foolish.

If you want Trump's campaign to fail, let it run its course without providing it with further fuel. Either the Republican Party will take it down between now and July, or the Democrats will do so between July and early November.

Provoking Trump supporters and engaging in behavior that increases the likelihood that violence will break out at campaign events will not make Trump's election any less likely. And it just might give him an additional boost.

Sometimes doing nothing is the most effective thing to do.

homepage: homepage: http://theweek.com/articles/612481/liberal-protesters-didnt-stop-donald-trump-chicago-helped

Disagree 14.Mar.2016 10:19


This article takes the point of view that the Trump campaign is the issue. It's not. The rising tide of fascism is, and these brave people in Chicago stood up and decided they would try and turn back that tide. Trump may run out his course naturally, but what he is speaking will not. You don't defeat fascism by ignoring it--it's not like Trump was beamed in from Mars; he's a product of our culture. You defeat it by hitting back.

Scumbag 14.Mar.2016 11:39

al pawcino

Donald T. Rump is a Snake who crawls in his own shit. He should save his breath. He will need it later to blow up his date.
What will it take to keep T. Rump out of the White House? --- One Bullet

Trump started this, now it's up to us to finish it 14.Mar.2016 18:02

Luke From DC

Trump started this shit, ordering his brownshirts to assault peaceful protesters from groups like Code Pink. Let's remember that people said in the 1930's to ignore Hitler and he would go away. Had the German Left gone after Hitler's rallies with everything they had, history might have been quite different. This is not a matter of avoiding a fight, but rather making damned sure that everytime Trump starts something, we are the ones to finish it so more victories like Chicago can be won. Probably Trump lacks the discipline to pick his fights and stay out of those he cannot win, and that works to our advantage.

Our strategy should be to go into every rally hoping for peaceful protest but expecting attack and ready for it. Let the world see Trump's brownshirts throw the first punches, only to get beaten down themselves after underestimating their opposition. Be sure to document all of that KKK, Nazi, and other white power shit that some of his supporters wear, expecially when worn by the person who throws that first punch. Trump will have to cancel rally after rally unless he wises up and tells his goons to cool it. I don't see that happening, he is too much of a hothead.

As the memes "Trump = violence" and "Trump = riots" take over the news coverage, Trump will find his poll numbers topping out early and heading back down. Enough of his working class white vote will turn away in disgust to leave him with only the explicit racists, a plurality of perhaps 20% and smaller even than Cruz's "Christian State" theocrats. At that point the GOP will probably be defeated in November, and one of Wall Street's two political parties will be in disarray. That in turn could create all kinds of space for 3ed parties to meet the remaining political party on an equal footing next time around.

" Trump = Hitler / Mussolini " 14.Mar.2016 19:49


you people are taking your pResidential politics wa-AAAA-ay-yy too seriously.

No matter who ascends to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave nothing will change.

Not until all the people who "protest Trump",

begin educating themselves on the truth about the 9/11 attacks
( which goes far beyond "Democrat vs. Republican" or Lol 'socialism' vs 'fascism'...............
fascism in 21st century USA is already permanent, just look at the past 8 years of corporate-rule, big-bank-and-Insurance-ACA-handout/bail-'em-out Obama administration )

i.e. if just half the people turning out at these "anti Trump" actions,

would perhaps ? be just as vocal and active about the 11 September 2001 attacks either in 1) raising awareness among others, or 2) actual investigation [ EXAMPLE / suggestion  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/02/431752.shtml ] of what occurred on 9/11

then you / we would ? be 'getting somewhere'.

As of now it's just a bunch of Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Dolphins ( __yea WHAT THE FU** EVER__ ) all-star-wrestling spectacular garbage.

I hope everyone who shows up at a Trump rally gets properly trumped upside their haid,

and also that everyone who votes for Trump (or ** any other ** corporate-mass-media-covered presidential candidate) feels just great about themselves eight years after the fact (just like the Obama goose-steppers happen to do). No matter who you vote for, You Just Got Fooled Again

p.s. **** YOU to anyone who posts another Trump topic to PDX IMC

(Sarah Silverman as) Hitler Hates Being Compared To Trump 14.Mar.2016 23:51


Even history's greatest monster balks at being lumped together with The Donald.

No Strategic Simple Score Voting? Welcome To The Machine 15.Mar.2016 22:11


Welcome To The Machine - Pink Floyd

Matt and Luke 17.Mar.2016 11:32


Thanks. One of the few reasons I can have some regard for being born in Chicago these days. Once it was just Dems, Daleys (born in the same year Richard the 1st ascended the throne, appropriately named 'Dick'), us, unions that still remembered that 'socialism' wasn't a bad word but never uttered in polite crowds over German beer at forest preseve picnics along the Des Plaines river...Still have my ceramic mug, a litre, that says "Leverkusen Schloss (that funny B symbol, actually) Reuschenberg, political cynicism, and a "city that worked" (in more ways than one)...

Still no reason to go back...Not even for funerals anymore. (Maybe mine? Nah...Whoever's left can burn my scrawny ass anywhere.) But I am proud of the inherent cynicism that may defy the sorry-assed choices (if there were such a thing), 'cos we had already much experience with those akin to brownshirts. You do know they never died, right? They just changed the name, the accent, and the inherent occupation. A 'dawg' is still a hund, perro, or whatever, despite how one spells or pronounces such a word. You know...those canid-type animals? It's spelled d-o-g. The nuns beat it into me. (No twerps either, those ladies...Can't be to wear that getup in the summer.)

I still miss the yearly pilgrimages to the Art Institute, sweaty hot-assed summers and the girls in thin cotton dresses, Maxwell Street, real blues, and summer storms that scared the hell out of the devil. Does Trump think he knows what 'dirty' is? Shit...I do thank whomever Chicago hasn't gone the way of Detroit. Or has it?

Twerp entertainer who grew up a spoiled fuckin', very well-connected brat? C'mon...Chicago could give him a lesson. It's about time he got one. Not even worthy of the 'f' word. One just knew those sorry-assed Repugs don't have it in them and never did. (Busy fuckin' the pooch for a buck.)