• Shutting Down Trump

    It is getting downright surreal out there. Activist efforts to stop Trump have crossed an invisible conceptual line recently, starting in my hometown of Chicago.

    According to the CBS News, the organizer of the protest is on record saying “Our whole purpose was to shut it down. Trump tried to bring his rally to one of the most diverse universities, and we had to show him that our voice in civil rights was greater than his voice.” This organizer, one Ja’Mal Green, has previously been known for his activism in support of Bernie Sanders:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but this looks just awful for Sanders. Doubly so if he fails to publicly repudiate those of his supporters who promote anti-speech tactics and try to get other presidential candidates shut down.

    Regardless of what the other presidential candidates say and do, though, the “Shut Down Trump” movement is going to continue picking up steam, starting tomorrow in Miami:

    This is a nonviolent protest. Our goal is to shut it down or disrupt it, not incite a riot. Be aware that Trump supporters might turn violent. Be mentally prepared to resist their verbal attacks and don’t let them goad you into hitting them. That said, if someone strikes you, it’s your right to defend yourself. Hopefully it won’t reach that point. There’s also the risk of being arrested, so if you’re not comfortable with that possibility, it’s best that you stick to protesting outside and not enter the premise.

    Let’s stop Trump from spewing his racist and xenophobic rhetoric! There’s no room in our city for neo-nazis to congregate!

    To me, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. Not only do anti-speech tactics reflect badly upon those who use them, but they also tend to legitimize those against whom they are employed.

    Your thoughts?

    Category: Uncategorized

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.
    • Otto T. Goat

      I commend you for backing Trump’s free speech, unlike Bernie, Hillary, and most of the media. Rubio and Cruz deserve special condemnation for opportunistically siding with a left-wing mob.

      • I would not characterize this situation as a struggle between “free speech” and “censorship” since the government has been doing a fairly good job of keeping its nose out of the tent. That said, we need a handy formulation for what is actually happening between left- and right-wing activists on the ground whenever they try to shut each other down.

      • Otto T. Goat

        When mobs shut down speech it violates the principle and spirit of free speech.

      • Agreed, but we need to be careful to differentiate between two distinct goals.

        1) Maximizing the ability of all persons to participate in a open marketplace of ideas

        2) Minimizing government censorship and interference with free speech

        I support the second (much narrower) goal solely for the sake of the first one.

        If the supporters of candidate X are organizing to disrupt or disband rallies for candidate Y, that has implications for goal #1 even if government officials and law enforcement manage to stay completely out of the picture.

    • Recipe for disaster? Absolutely. This is disappointing to say the least.

    • Robert King

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Trump instigated this…but I will be surprised if he can’t use the spectacle (as he will frame it) of the very people he is saying are a threat…behaving like a threat.

    • ncovington89

      I agree. I think the intentions of the protesters are great, but they need to find better ways to sway Trump supporters besides interrupting rallies. Here’s how we can do that:
      1. Hold protests that do not interfere with Trump’s rally. They could gather in public areas outside the event itself and speak with people, hand out literature on why Trump is a poor candidate and/or why Bernie is a good candidate.
      2. Host an on-campus debate between a Trump supporter and a Bernie supporter.
      3. Find ways to communicate your viewpoint to other people that you are good at, which can range from a civil discussion with a friend to writing an article for the local paper to blogging to youtubing.

    • TheEdgeLord

      I love the rift, wherever it appears and whatever form it takes. The deeper, the more hatred and violence involved, all the better.