As the 2016 field of election contestants narrows, Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has become the stormy center of campaign news coverage and a lightning rod for violent tension at his rallies. Many in the left-leaning media place the blame for the heated confrontations at his events on Trump himself; others on his supporters. Few are pointing the finger at the swelling numbers of leftist protesters aggressively organizing to shut Trump down altogether.
A recent analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC news coverage found that all three broadcast networks have made the violence plaguing Trump’s rallies the near-exclusive focus of their campaign coverage. Their reporters specifically placed 94% of the blame – 46 instances to 3 – on Trump and his campaign, while virtually ignoring the protesters such as those who forced the cancelation of Trump's recent appearance in Chicago.
As Monica Crowley observed in the Washington Times, the hordes of protesters who swarmed the Chicago arena and forced Trump to cancel were operating “straight out of the Alinsky playbook: create chaos, blame the victim, stop free speech and advance progressivism.” It is “the same leftist revolution that’s been roiling America for decades.” That is evident if for no other reason than the fact that domestic terrorist Bill Ayers showed up at the Chicago protest to give it his imprimatur.
In conversation with Sean Hannity on Fox after the Chicago cancelation, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke called the protesters “a totalitarian movement”:
“You have cop haters. You have anarchists. You have criminals. You have some rowdy juveniles. You have organized labor. And there is a spattering of well-intentioned people who are being exploited in this, and they’re the ones pushed out front, and those are the ones pushed out in front of the camera as they do their dirty work.”
Aaron Klein wrote at Breitbart that some of those same radicals are now plotting a mass civil disobedience movement to begin next month called “Democracy Spring” – a name which echoes the “Arab Spring” that unleashed not democracy but bloody Islamic fundamentalism across the Middle East. Democracy Spring was organized ostensibly to transform a political system corrupted by “big money interests.” The members intend to meet up on April 2 at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, then march to the Capitol building in Washington D.C. for a sit-in that will constitute the “largest civil disobedience action of the century.” They claim to be fully prepared to provoke and accept the arrest of thousands of their activists, in preparation for which they will be holding mandatory nonviolent civil disobedience trainings twice a day and securing pro-bono legal counsel.
Though Democracy Spring claims to be nonpartisan, signatories to this movement include leftist actor and Occupy Wall Street supporter Mark Ruffalo and Code Pink founders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, as well as progressive organizations such as NOW, People for the American Way, People for Bernie, Young Democratic Socialists, the George Soros-funded groups MoveOn.org and the Institute for Policy Studies (the left’s oldest think tank and a supporter of Communist and anti-American causes), and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in America. The DSA’s Chicago branch literally transported protesters to Trump’s canceled Chicago event, according to Klein.
As the Democracy Spring website declares, “The stage is set for a bold intervention to turn the tinder of passive public frustration into a fire that transforms the political climate in America, that sparks a popular movement that can’t be stopped.” The “drama in Washington” they are planning “will rock the business-as-usual cycle of this election and catapult this critical issue on to center stage.”
Klein notes that Democracy Spring’s website does not mention Trump by name, and it stresses nonviolent intentions. But considering the aggression inherent in the radical left, as evidenced in the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements, it is highly likely that demonstrations involving mobs of thousands will result in violence somewhere along the line, and the news media will find a way to characterize it sympathetically as understandable pushback against the rise of “fascist” Trump. At the very least, the Democracy Spring mob and their radical ilk likely hope to provoke violence from Trump’s followers, which they can then use to deflect responsibility and pin it on the billionaire candidate who has become the target of their hate.
As the election season heats up, the proper response to the left’s violent provocations must be zero tolerance. It is time progressives were held accountable for their criminal aggression and for their totalitarian impulse to silence conservative candidates and disrupt the election process. As Monica Crowley wrote, Donald Trump’s campaign “is merely the current pretext for the latest battle of a revolution that seeks nothing short of the destruction of the American democratic and capitalist system.” That revolution cannot be allowed to gather momentum. Trump got it right when he announced recently that he would begin pressing charges against protesters who broke the law. That’s a good start.