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the Clash of the Titans:
Chicago Violence and Donald Trump

Janet Kuypers

    People can laugh at him or love him, but out potential Entertainer-In-Chief Donald Trump still seems to be doing relatively well in the Republican polls. But it comforts me that when Trump decided to hold a rally in Chicago, the Chicago violence that we’ve become accustomed to came to the party.
    First doing a cursory search on line for “Trump Rally Chicago,” the first thing that popped up (even before the later cancelled rally) was “Trump Rally Protest - Chicago – Facebook”. After following the link for it, I saw that it was a “STUDENT-LED event dedicated to gathering a large group of people ... to unite in solidarity AGAINST the Donald Trump campaign and its presence at Chicago and at UIC.”
    Okay, so people were planning to protest. They have every right to. MoveOn.org helped promote the rally protest, and they paid for printing protest signs and a banner. Some members of the UIUC faculty assisted in organizing protests (it’s funny that the faculty of a government school is taking a stand like that, I don’t know if that’s appropriate — they seem to be government employees in support of the oppression of free speech), and other organizers of these protests included People for Bernie, the Black Student Union, the Muslim Student Association, the Fearless Undocumented Association, Black Lives Matter, Assata’s Daughters, BYP100, and Showing Up for Racial Justice , and (thanks, Wikipedia) with “black, Latino and Muslim young people” at the “core” of the crowds of protesters.
    Protests started the day before the rally, and were still going on a half hour after the rally was supposed to start (when a Trump representative came out and said the rally would be postponed). The crowd cheered (remember, the crowd is filled with protestors), and chanted “We dumped Trump!” before they started pulling rally signs from Trump supporters from the audience.
    The Trump supporters chanted “We want Trump!” in response, and while the protestors clashed with supporters, in true Chicago style, a yell led to a shove led to a punch, and you get the idea. The Chicago Police Department reported that 4 men and a woman were arrested. Two police officers and at least two people were injured.
    So at this point, you can understand why Trump then cancelled the rally.
    But that one moment when they did cancel the rally, a Trump official said on stage to the crowd after the cancellation was announced, “Please go in peace.”
    Like any proper Chicago protestor would do that. Because that was the exact moment the violence began. And a lot of both Trump supporters and protestors, because they were suddenly pressed shoulder to shoulder with people who vehemently oppose them, ended up fighting (because someone else must have thrown a punch first), and were knocked to the ground.

    Now it’s time to see how everyone reacts in the aftermath of the culmination of violence in a Donald Trump rally... Well, of course Mayor Rahm Emmanual praised the Chicago Police Department for restoring order, and the protestors thought it was a win for them (because their only goal was to stop him from speaking in Chicago). So that’s the news locally, but what about other people running to snatch the Republican Presidential nomination? Ted Cruz (Texas Senator) said, “When you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, you create an environment that only encourages that sort of nasty discourse” (quote from NPR). Marco Rubio even condemned Trump for inciting supporters who have punched and beaten demonstrators and likening him to “Third World strongmen” (Peters, Jeremy W. (March 12, 2016). “Marco Rubio, Nearing Reckoning in Florida Primary, Likens Donald Trump to ‘Third-World Strongmen’”. The New York Times).
    And yeah, I could go on about Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sander’s responses, but I’m sure you know they’d say how dismaying this violence is that Trump seems to invite, and their statements reflect how people should be coming together, not fighting each other.
    And Rachel Maddow of MSNBC may have had a point when she said that Trump’s violent rhetoric at campaign rallies resulted in the escalation of tensions. Because really, when we see a man running for office who thinks that people who are combative at his rallies should be pushed around and roughened up before removing them, you can expect that anyone supporting him will probably also feel those angering and violent tensions, and anyone wanted to stop him may use those same violent tactics he seems to endorse.
    I know this seems to be the Chicago way, and I know that Chicago is primarily a Democrat city (not Republican), and I know the city is populated by almost equaled thirds of black, Latinos and whites, but protests have interrupted virtually every Donald Trump rally around the country On a quick Internet news search (since Trump was going to Wisconsin next), I find titles liked “Dozens protest outside Trump event in Janesville: “We don’t stand for what he believes in”” is one, and “Protests set as Trump visits De Pere, Appleton”, or “Protesters Prep To Crash Trump Event In Wisconsin” can be found. There were also news stories like “Protesters block road outside Trump Arizona event, march in NYC”. In fact, I just saw a news report that mentioned a Trump supporter (and forgive me, I have to preface this with that this supporter was an older man in a cowboy hat) during a Trump rally who “sucker-punched” (the newscaster’s words) a black man there.
    I have no idea what the black man may have said to incite this, but when questioned by a reporter thee on the scene, the older cowboy man said that if he came here again, he “might have to kill him.”
    So the violence spreads like a blooming flower. How beautiful. See the pollen fly.
    Now what, since this Chicago fiasco that resulted in Trump having to cancel his rally? Well, he has remained in the lead, and Ted Cruz continues to beg voters that if they don’t like Trump, then turn to his side — but it still wasn’t a two-man competition (even after Marco Rubio left and took his delegates with him) when Ohio Governor John Kasich has remained in the race, saying that he is the only one there with experience on actually getting things done in politics. And even though it is technically impossible for Kasich to get enough delegates to win the nomination, he still says he will stay in the race because he is counting on a contested convention, and that the Republican Party may “choose” him to be their candidate when no person running to represent the Republican Party can earn enough delegates, or even a plurality. All I hear on the news now is how, who knows, maybe the RNC would consider asking Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan to be their candidate if this boils down to a contested convention — even though Rubio bowed out, he said he was keeping his delegates in the hopes of a contested convention (oh, want to know what on Earth a contested convention is? Well, let me let Rolling Stone explain it: “Typically, by the time the national conventions take place in the summer of a presidential election year, the parties already have a pretty good idea who their nominees will be, based on primary results. A contested, or brokered, convention happens when the primary process fails to yield a consensus choice. If none of the candidates running in a party earn at least half of the delegates at stake in the primaries, then the delegates decide who the nominee will be at the convention.” In other words, if no one running gets enough delegates to give them the nomination, they — you know, the RNC even made a website explaining it all for this election, though, like most political things, it doesn’t explain enough or answer your question.)
    So they all continue to run, and, as Rolling Stone pointed out again, “This means at this point [with a contested or brokered convention] anyone could technically be nominated. But for someone who isn’t running at all (e.g., a Mitt Romney or a Paul Ryan) to suddenly swoop in at the convention itself would require the creation of a new rule by the committee that governs such things. Most of the people who are on that committee right now say they aren’t inclined to do that.”
    So they all continue to run, Donald Trump tweets photos of his wife next to a photo of Ted Cruz’s wife (implying that only models from Trump’s second marriage are good looking enough to be the First Lady). Anderson Cooper even questioned him in an interview:

    ANDERSON COOPER (MODERATOR): I’ve got to ask you about this back and forth between you and Senator Cruz about wives. After saying you were going to spill the beans about Heidi Cruz, you re-tweeted an unflattering picture of her next to a picture of your wife.
    DONALD TRUMP: I thought it was a nice picture of Heidi. I thought it was fine.
    COOPER: Come on.
    TRUMP: I thought it was fine. She’s a pretty woman.
    COOPER: You’re running for president of the United States.
    TRUMP: Excuse me, I didn’t start it.
    COOPER: But sir, with all due respect, that’s the argument of a 5-year-old.
    TRUMP: No, it’s not.
    COOPER: The argument of a 5-year-old is he started it.
    TRUMP: Excuse me, you would say that. That’s the problem with our country.
    COOPER: Every parent knows a kid who says he started it.

    I suppose he can try to back talk and deny the more insulting things he has said about some women, but you can find them easily with Internet searches, and our 24/7 drive-by media, and alienates many woman who could be potential voters. There’s even the case of a female reporter trying to touch Trump (and was told to stop repeatedly) was stopped by his campaign manager (and in Florida any incident of where a man touches a woman anywhere anyhow means a woman can file a simple battery charge against them).
    Cool, more in the news that has nothing to do with the policies of the man trying to become the Republican candidate for President. But, as Donald Trump has said in the past, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” — from an interview with Esquire, 1991, because courtesy of The Huffington Post in “18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women”, “That bad press doesn’t matter as long as you have a sexy girlfriend.”
    But let’s get to the topics (sort of); since he want to be the Entertainer In Chief, he chooses to be interviewed by anyone (because he thinks he can make bad press turn into good press for him), and Chris Matthews interviews him, asking him repeatedly (12 times, actually) about a hypothetical situation of abortion becoming illegal, would Trump prosecute women who have illegal abortions.
    Well, Donald never learned that you should never get into a hypothetical debate about things that don’t exist in the world, so he eventually answered the question, and for at least one full day reporters brought up his answer (and never explained that it was an answer to a hypothetical question about a situation that does not currently exist).
    We have watched Donald Trump say racist things, want to ban a religion from entering the United States; this is the man who repeatedly still says that they will build a giant wall and Mexico will pay for it — Mexico, the country he says deports their rapists and drug dealers and crime thugs to the United States. And the scary thing is that thee are people — people who have the right to vote — who like his message and believe what he says (even though he never proposes any valid to get all of the wonderful things he plans to do as President). Donald Trump just says words people like to hear; the people loving his words don’t expect an explanation of how anything will be done, they just want everything done for them.
    You know, that’s starting to sound like most Democrats I know.
    And that is possibly the scariest part of all.

Janet Kuypers
Editor in Chief

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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