Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, March 13th, 2016.

We Knew This Was Coming

Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Regarding the violence breaking out in Trump rallies — how many of us have been saying for years that the Right would probably turn violent if they perceived they were losing power? Inflammatory rhetoric has been priming them for years. And they finally figured out the Republican Party elites weren’t leading them where they thought they were going.

All they needed was some two-bit demagogue giving them permission to act out their inner bigot.

The Los Angeles Times has a story about how some student groups at U of Chicago got together to shut down Trump’s rally Friday night.

Planning for the event started Monday night, when leaders from a range of groups gathered in a campus lecture hall. They included the Black Student Union, the Muslim Student Assn. and the Fearless Undocumented Association, which advocates for immigrants in the country illegally.

Other local and national activism groups also got involved, including some local labor organizations, Black Lives Matter and MoveOn.Org, which has endorsed Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

Interesting. Anyway, I agree with Dave Neiwert, who writes,

Any kind of violence, even defensive or responsive, from Trump’s opponents is going to be used as an excuse to escalate, ad infinitum.

This is a very dangerous time, and progressives are going to have to be smart about how they confront this tactic, which is going to happen increasingly as the election year drags along. They are going to have to be incredibly disciplined, and incredibly committed to nonviolence when confronted with the viciousness of the budding Brownshirts on the other side.

Yesterday Trump tweeted, “Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!” To which Sanders responded, “Send them. They deserve to see what a real honest politician sounds like.”

David Atkins has been writing some great stuff at Washington Monthly this weekend, such as why Karl Rove and David Brooks are worse than Trump. And why Donald Trump is Merely the Symptom. The Republican Party Itself is the Disease. But I want to call your attention particularly to How Clinton’s Reagan-AIDS Gaffe Helps Explain Why Populism Is Rising.

When we look at the populist movements taking hold of both of the left and the right in America, a common thread is anger at elites who seem to be more interested in maintaining a comfortable duopoly than in actually solving problems. There’s a sense that America is governed by a set of wealthy and entrenched incompetents who are so socially and economically enmeshed with one another that they’re incapable of holding one another to account or feeling the pain of normal Americans.

As Chris Hayes explains in his tremendous book Twilight of the Elites, American contempt for institutions and their leaders derives from the poisonous effect of the social connection and comfort of those classes: wealthy political elites go to all the same cocktail parties and their kids all go to the same fancy schools. They buy into each others’ myths, they lose touch with reality and they lose the ability to hold each other to account.

Pretty well said.

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