In the next twenty four hours after the protests that evolved into a riot, the world is reacting to the incident Chicago to varying degrees. Predictably, many on the left are celebrating what is seen as the product of escalating rhetoric. Has Donald Trump really met the product of his own rhetoric? The argument that is his encouragement of violence welcomed the events against him and his supporters last night.
What is quite surprising however, is the response of the two Republican United States Senators who are running for President. Both Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have, instead of blaming the violence on the thugs, sided with Senator Bernie Sanders in laying the blame on the victim.
“What caused the violence at Trump’s rally is a campaign whose words and actions have encouraged it on the part of his supporters. He recently said of a protester, ‘I want to punch him in the face.’ Another time Trump yearned for the old days when the protester would have been punched and “carried out on a stretcher.’ Then just a few days ago a female reporter apparently was assaulted by his campaign manager.
Has Donald Trump at times been over the top? Undeniably. But does that mean those opposed to him should sink down to his lows and resort to the tactics he apparently advocates?
Like Senator Sanders, both of his Republican colleagues agree they should by finding no issue with those who incited a riot.
“This boiling point that we have now reached has been fed largely by the fact that we have a frontrunner in my party who has fed into language that basically justifies physically assaulting people who disagree with you,” Rubio said.
“But in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top,” Mr. Cruz continued. “And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.”
The trouble with everyone taking this position is it clears the rioters of any blame. Trump’s rhetoric aside, these thugs clearly sought out the Trump rally and showed up with the organized intent to start trouble. There’s nothing democratic or civil about starting a riot. Even if Trump endorsed thug tactics with his rhetoric, the adults in the room should be mature enough to oppose such activity.
Clearly the adults weren’t in the crowd in Chicago.
Senators Cruz and Rubio agreeing with Senator Sanders about the thugs being without blame is disturbing. They took a dangerous situation that endangered lives and turned it into a political opportunity. Instead of doing the rightful thing and taking a stand against violence, they used it as an opportunity to oppose Donald Trump. This is disgraceful.
All the candidates, regardless of political views, should be opposed to violence. The unwillingness of those running for an office against Donald Trump to denounce violence by the perpetrators of such acts speaks volumes. The three United States Senators seem to be alright with violence, as long as it is against individuals they disagree with and their supporters.