Donald Trump’s rallies have become even more of a fiasco than they were a few months ago. Black protestors are being flagged and escorted out of the building upon request, with one even being punched in the face on the way out.
Trump was scheduled to hold his next rally on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus in the middle of the city on Friday (March 11). Chicago may actually be the most outwardly liberal place Trump’s hosted a rally at thus far. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it makes complete sense that Trump protestors managed to show up in large enough numbers that the rally was
“Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago, and after meeting with law enforcement, has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date,” the Trump campaign said in a statement, according to CNN. “Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.”
Both those for and against Trump were stunned for different reasons. Supporters, some of which travelled overnight from other states just for the occasion, felt that their and Trump’s first amendment rights were unfairly stripped away. Protesters reveled in being the first group to do the previously unimaginable – silence Donald Trump. They celebrated the moment by chanting “We stumped Trump!” and “Si se puede!” for minutes after the announcement was made.
Although he denied it in the latest Republican debate, Trump’s rallies endorse hostility and capitalize on people’s emotions. On one hand he’s said he hopes he doesn’t inspire violence at his rallies, but then he talks about missing the good ole’ days when protesters had to pay for their causes with blood and pain.
According to interim Chicago Police Department Superintendent John Escalante, only five arrests were made that night, despite those that chose to label the mostly peaceful demonstrations as a “riot.” Throughout the night, up to 300 officers were called on for crowd control, according to CNN. Among those arrested, one was a CBS News reporter charged with resisting arrest, according to NPR.
The following morning after the rally, the dust of the previous night’s events settled and opinions began to make their way out to the public. Literally every other presidential candidate condemned the violence that did occur during the skirmishes that broke out during the protests.
On the more carefully worded side of the spectrum, Senator Marco Rubio admits it’s getting more difficult to justify a previous statement that he’ll support the Republican nominee, no matter who it is. On the more extreme side, Senator Bernie Sanders campaign tweeted that they “will not allow the Donald Trumps of the world to divide us up.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz took it one step further.
“America is better than this. We don’t have to tear each other apart,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said. “When you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have 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.”
Is also appears that more people are stepping up to express their frustrations, although their means of doing so may be questionable. For example, the very next day, Trump was in Ohio and a man jumped the barricade and attempted to reach the podium. Secret Service was able to stop him before even making it on stage, but Trump was still surrounded by security for the sake of protection.
“I was thinking that I could get up on stage and take his podium away from him and take his mic away from him and send a message to all people out in the country who wouldn’t consider themselves racist, who wouldn’t consider themselves approving of what type of violence Donald Trump is allowing in his rallies, and send them a message that we can be strong, that we can find our strength and we can stand up against Donald Trump and against this new wave he’s ushering in of truly just violent white supremacist ideas,” said Thomas DiMassimo to CNN.
Trump is not showing any signs of changing his political approach after back-to-back rallies where the public reacted physically. He falsely claimed DiMassimo had ties to ISIS, is still taking personal jabs at his fellow republican candidates and is calling out protesters at public events, according to Yahoo.
Only time will tell what kind of reaction the Chicago rally will have on Trump’s campaign. It could either damage his credibility or he could be framed as a victim and inspire even more people’s support. Either way, Chicago and its citizens stayed true to their values and gave Trump what may be his first major blow in months.
Excuse me while I enjoy some hometown pride and get the Chicago flag tattooed on my forearm.
Photo Source: Twitter