Trump is no help against anti-speech far-left (Milo, Berkeley riots)
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Yesterday, an appearance at University of California at Berkeley by Breitbart News lightweight provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled after far-left, anti-speech activists got violent (link):
Protesters armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos Wednesday night, forcing the event’s cancellation... Several injuries have been reported and at least four banks have been vandalized after demonstrators marched away from the scene of a violent protest at the canceled speaking event by controversial far-right writer and speaker Yiannopoulos on the University of California at Berkeley campus...
Donald Trump weighed in on, of course, Twitter :
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
A tweet like that will cause his supporters to say something like, "Damn straight! That'd serve 'em right! And while you're at it, don't send them commies in California another dime. Let them secede, we Alabamans will be much better off without 'em! And if you disagree with Trump you's a commie too!"
The problem is that, as usual, when given a variety of options, Trump chooses one of the dumbest, most thuggish, least effective options. He's incapable of coming up a smart, sane, pro-American, big tent solution that would seek to solve the problem. It's also ironic he'd say something like that when a major part of his shtick has been attempting to quash dissent: kicking out protesters, kicking out reporters, and in a few cases encouraging violence against his opponents.
In this case, it's not likely he's going to be able to withhold funds, and even if he did it wouldn't change the behavior of those prone to engage in violence: it's doubtful they get federal funding. There are probably millions of Americans who agree with the rioters, and Trump's grand plan isn't going to change their minds. When Trump is out of office or Berkeley can replace any funding Trump was able to withhold, Trump's threat will disappear. Trump can't withhold federal funds from all institutions where anti-speech activists try to silence debate. Trump's dumb, thuggish plan has no teeth and it won't solve the underlying problem. His plan won't stop future riots and it won't keep the anti-speech far-left in check. Like all his other plans, his latest just appeals to yahoos but doesn't serve the national interest.
One of the few good things Barack Obama ever said was back in 2015 when he spoke out against attempts to quash debate :
"I think it's a healthy thing for young people to be engaged and to question authority and to ask why this instead of that, to ask tough questions about social justice. So I don't want to discourage kids from doing that... As I've said before, I do think that there have been times on college campuses where I get concerned that the unwillingness to hear other points of view can be as unhealthy on the left as on the right... Well, feel free to disagree with somebody, but don't try to just shut them up... My concern is not whether there is campus activism. I think that's a good thing. But let kids ask questions and let universities respond. What I don't want is a situation in which particular points of view that are presented respectfully and reasonably are shut down, and we have seen that sometimes happen."
Why can't Trump say something like that? Why can't Trump get his allies at Breitbart and elsewhere to make smart, sane, pro-American, big tent arguments that would discredit leaders who enable attempts to stifle speech? Why does everything he and his allies do always verge towards dumb, thuggish things that get them attention but don't serve the national interest? Will there ever come a point when President Trump will sit down with smarter people and devise smart plans that will help the U.S.A. and not just serve his own ends?
 twitter . com/realDonaldTrump/status/827112633224544256
 npr . org/2015/12/21/460282127/