Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump is still on a roll

UIC Pavilion earlier tonight
Charles Rex Arbogast | AP
Don't you dare think tonight will be the beginning of the unraveling of Trump's campaign. Don't allow yourself to dream that the protest that shut down El Idiota's rally in Chicago tonight will slow his ascent to the Republican presidential nomination. The people who support him see him as being victimized by the angry, "violent" protestors of color who "denied Trump his freedom of speech" at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This only solidifies their view that white Americans are under assault and they need Trump to save them. Tonight's events will have no effect on support for El Idiota, except maybe to increase it.

NOTE ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT: The American Constitution protects citizens from laws that limit their free speech and right to peaceful assembly. It protects citizens from the U.S. government taking away their freedom of speech. It doesn't protect us from each other. Trump says his freedom of speech was violated tonight, but that's not legally correct. The U.S. government didn't stop his rally. He did when he made the decision to cancel it.

Trump can only further alienate the people who already dislike him. As long as he doesn't insult the white, Christian, conservative male population (that's also cis-abled, cis-gendered and straight), his campaign will only look more and more like the solution to all America's problems with The Blacks, The Mexicans, The Muslims, etc. (including The Women). The 2016 election is about race much more than the 2008 election was. In Trump-speak, these terms are all code for people of color: immigrants, thugs, foreigners, protestors, Muslims, dudes (he keeps describing protestors at his rallies as "bad dudes"). This election is about race, so don't let yourself get distracted by Trump's thin rhetoric of economics, foreign policy or anything else. Forget his tax return. Forget his failed businesses. Forget his grammar. This election year is about race and Trump is riding to the White House on a wave of fear of a Black planet. Those of us who oppose Trump should NOT relax tonight, thinking tonight's fiasco will spell his doom. Quite the opposite.

All we can hope is that the rest of America, the part that isn't afraid of foreigners and social progress, will see tonight's events as indicative of the demagoguery that Trump plays on. The protestors' message was for us, too, and it's up to us to outnumber Trump's supporters at the polls in November. Forget protesting. It just feeds Trump's racist narrative. Focus on getting out the VOTE.

Politer explanation for Trump's rise that you can share with friends: Why Trump Now?


Gabe said...

It continually astonishes (and disappoints) me that a person whose rhetoric is simultaneously so contentious and so devoid of substance can have so many supporters. But you're quite right: Trump's campaign is fueled by the attention his nonsense draws, and activism that focuses on the threat he poses only serves that strategy.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

It's goddamn brilliant. The louder we people of color shout, the more we enforce his racist narrative. He has totally figured out how to use the power of the protest against us. That's why -- more than ever -- voting is more important than protesting (and believe me, I like protesting).