The recent riot that broke out at a Chicago Donald Trump has left people debating for days since. Who is to blame for this outbreak of violence? Is it the leftwing activists who resorted to thug tactics in retaliation to a candidate they perceive as dangerous? Is it Donald Trump for continuously encouraging violence with his rhetoric?
The answer isn’t so simple.
Certainly, in this instance, the activists who crashed the rally that resulted in violence breaking out could have acted better. The opposition to Trump is concerned a great deal about a candidate they perceive as dangerous in rhetoric and style. The concern is certainly justified to a degree, but the problem here is in execution. If we are so concerned about an individual who resorts to encouraging violence and escalating tension, why feed it? If any individual is pushing for violence, then logically, that is what is preferred. So why make it happen?
No one can blame these individuals for getting caught up in the heat of the election. There’s a lot on the line this cycle, as both political parties are facing a potential shakeup. Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz lead the Republican primary and Senator Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money. These three candidates represent a strong grassroots movement on their respective side of the aisle but something to be feared by the other side.
The problem is when respectful disagreement descends into Godwin’s Law, riots, violence, and vandalism. Society has literally reached a point now where respectful disagreement is impossible. The apocalypse is near and if an individual’s candidate doesn’t win, the fall of America is upon us.
It explains like this happening, when a 69 year old woman who supports Donald Trump had her house and personal property vandalized simply because of candidate preference.
The first time a Trump campaign sign disappeared from her yard, Judy Beaty figured it must have blown away in the wind. But then two more signs went missing overnight. And when Beaty went outside to investigate the next morning, she saw that someone had vandalized her Northern Virginia home.
Messages were scrawled in black spray paint on two sides of her Gainesville house: “Can you see the new world through the tear gas,” said one. “Revolution,” said the other.
This woman was only showing support for a candidate she preferred on personal property. This couldn’t even be respected.
The problem here is Donald Trump shares blame in the rhetoric reaching dangerous levels. His threats to punch protesters in the face and talking about getting away with murder do not help respectful dialogue in this country. Undoubtedly, it’s making things worse.
This, however, still does not justify rioting.
In the end nobody is winning and everybody is losing. Society is at a dangerous point where we are faced with a political climate where we cannot simply disagree. If you put a sign in your front yard, your house could be vandalized. If you show up to a rally to show support for a candidate, violence could break out. If you state your support a candidate, friends could shun you and resort to apocalyptic rhetoric.
We’re at a dangerous point now. We can blame Trump and we can blame the thugs, and we should. Everyone needs to tone it down. The problem is toning it down is not going to happen because nobody wants to admit they’re wrong and the others in the political arena are merely seizing on the political opportunities to go after another candidate.
The violence needs to stop and we all need to be proactive in standing up to the dangerous levels that political discourse is reaching.