Donald Trump is too weak to undercut BLM, MoveOn, and the anti-speech far-left
The latest way Donald Trump is letting down the U.S. is his very weak response to the protests that disrupt his events. If Trump were a stronger candidate, he could use those protests to undercut noxious far-left groups and by so doing he'd reduce the future disruptions at his events. The disruptive protests might cause more people to vote for Trump, and clearly that's more important to him than greatly helping the U.S. by undercutting noxious groups.
The disruptive protests at Trump's events are organized by those in the Black Lives Matter and related movements, the organization MoveOn, and others. Both BLM and MoveOn are closely linked to Bernie Sanders, and many of those protesting Trump are Sanders supporters. As shown by their actions, many or most of the protesters are what we call "lil' fascists" around here: they want to silence their opponents rather than engage in debate. Such a mindset is extremely dangerous to the U.S., but Trump isn't doing anything good about it: he's only thinking of what's best for him.
How could Trump do something about it? Here's one example. After the Chicago protest on March 11, 2016, Trump should have done three things:
- Maintain a strict adherence to the truth (more on that below). Not telling the truth gives opponents a chance to blunt your message. Telling the truth includes triple-checking claims made by less- or barely-credible sites like Breitbart and "Conservative Treehouse".
- Stop encouraging violence against protesters.
- Issue a statement like this one I wrote a couple of hours after the event :
"There's legitimate protest, and then there's an attempt to silence opponents. As their cheering clearly shows, these protesters wanted to silence me. That's completely un-American. Many of the protesters are supporters of Bernie Sanders and are from groups like BLM and MoveOn. As a U.S. Senator, Mr. Sanders must realize that attempts to silence others are completely contrary to the U.S. Constitution. I call on Senator Sanders to renounce these deplorable, un-American tactics of his supporters and groups he's affiliated with such as BLM."
That would have been accompanied by reputable news reports and videos supporting the claim that many of the protesters were Sanders supporters and with valid documentation (once again, not from Breitbart type sites) of the links between organizers and Sanders.
Backed up by only telling the truth - not lying as he occasionally does - and not responding by encouraging violence against protesters as he has, that would be very powerful. Trump might need to repeat his demand several times, but he has plenty of opportunities to do that.
Doing the above would likely have at least four very healthy impacts:
- Trump would gain popularity with many of those who'd realize that he's looking out for their interests. Opposing the BLM movement is probably an 80-20 issue: 80% of Americans aren't on their side (it might even be a 90-10 issue).
- Assuming Trump does it correctly, Sanders would have to respond and would have to respond by supporting Trump's right to speak. Sanders is smart, rational, and has to be accountable. He can't be seen to oppose a fundamental American concept. Many of his supporters - including BLM and MoveOn - clearly don't fully (or at all) support the fundamental American concept that opponents should be allowed to speak. By speaking out, Sanders would open a rift between him and some of his leading supporters. That would tend to reduce the power that BLM and MoveOn have and at least in the case of the first group that's strongly in the American interest.
- Sanders speaking out would reduce the number of disruptive protesters at Trump events. There'd be some disruptions, but the chances they were organized with the assistance of BLM or MoveOn would be much less (unless both groups want to widen the rift between them and their chosen candidate).
- Sanders speaking out would also send a message to the far-left that they should support others' speech rights rather than trying to silence their opponents.
Instead of issuing something like the statement above, the day after I wrote the statement Donald Trump said this at a rally:
"These other people by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend... Now really Bernie should tell his people... he should really get up and say to his people 'stop, stop.'"
By falsely calling Sanders a "communist", Trump is playing to his base and they no doubt eat such things up. However, Sanders isn't a communist or even a socialist: he's a democratic socialist like many in Europe. By lying about Sanders, Trump gave Sanders the opportunity to call Trump a "pathological liar" . By in the past and continuing to encourage violence against protesters, Trump gave Sanders an opportunity to turn the tables on him and demand Trump stops encouraging violence. Trump didn't issue a demand, he used the very weak word "should". By not stressing - and providing evidence - that those at the Chicago rally wanted to silence him, Trump didn't issue a demand that Sanders would have to accede to.
Trump's fans will think his responses to the Chicago rally have been strong, but they're actually just lunkhead. They might help Trump's popularity, but Trump isn't putting the USA first and trying to reduce the power of BLM and MoveOn. If Trump can't do something fairly simple like that now, he's not going to be able to do it as President. He's also going to have a great deal of trouble dealing with far more complicated issues such as the Middle East.
If you're a Trump supporter, stop enabling him. Work to make him better rather than encouraging his lunkhead responses that only help him rather than the USA.
 Trump compounded that by buying into a video claiming that the protester who rushed him at another event was linked to ISIS. Apparently the Arabic text in the supposed ISIS video featuring the protester could have been input into an online translator and it would have been clear that the video was meant to mock the protester.