Trump held a rally near my city the other day and I debated going to the protest for it. Ultimately it didn’t work out for me to attend (several mitigating factors) but as part of my decision making process I had to take into account the possibility that my attendance at a Trump protest rally could expose me to a dangerous situation. I could be hit, pepper sprayed, trampled, run over, or even shot at. As I contemplated that, it made me sad, and angry, that I had to even consider that in my decision to attend. Fear is a tactic weak people use to try and intimidate others from speaking up.
I also know that if the protest remained peaceful the entire time supporters would claim everyone was paid to be there, or that the protesters weren’t very energetic/enthusiastic/authentic, that it was a “weak” turnout, etc. If there were any moments of violence, it would be used to as fuel to portray them in a very negative fashion. Thousands went, I watched live streaming of it, I messaged with people during it and for the most part it was peaceful. Until the supporters started to exit the rally. That’s when there started to be issues. Immediately there were portrayals of the protesters being the aggressive ones, and I sat in my house wondering just how accurate that message was. I’m not saying I believe that only Trump supporters would/could be violent and protesters would/could only be peaceful, because when you get a crowd together violence is always a possibility and there are always people (no matter what political affiliation they have) who will escalate a situation and ruin it for the rest of us. The difference is in the actions, cumulatively speaking, in the overall rhetoric of the majority, in what they allow and condone as acceptable behavior. Before the rally ended and the protesters started getting pepper sprayed I had already been observing the general opinions being posted on the old social media sites. While it sure seemed like each side was convinced that the other side was the violent delusional ones, I found significantly more negative comments from Trump supporters (disparaging the Minneapolis mayor, and/or any protesters) than I did from protesters or protest supporters. One comment even talked about needing “ethnic cleansing” of democrat supporters. Right there, with no shame. I took a screen shot to remind myself how much society has back peddled. While I don’t discount the existence of an equally troubling comment from a protester somewhere, I never found one that was vicious or hateful like that.
To also see so many thousands of Minnesotans embracing Trump’s message of hate and being stubbornly oblivious to the hypocrisy, corruption, and destruction of it all was absolutely painful. For a brief moment I had been hopeful that the stipulation of the city of Minneapolis and the statement from AEG requiring Trump to pre-pay for costs associated with rally security and road closures might actually hold, but as per usual, he refused, there were no consequences, and he used it as more fodder in his constant efforts to divide the nation. I will not hold my breath waiting to see if his campaign eventually pays the bill, especially after his “twitter fight” with the mayor. As to the argument about the bill being much higher than Obama’s back in 2009, not only has the cost for everything increased in the last decade, the propagation of hate and violence towards others that has been encouraged by Trump leads to needing way more security as well as more street closures since the level of protesters are higher, plainly put, it’s comparing pomegranates to bananas…just because they are both fruit doesn’t mean they cost the same. Not that anyone’s going to point that out.
Every single day it gets harder to watch this shit show go on. I don’t understand how anyone who thinks they are a decent person could support him, and if they aren’t claiming to be decent people I would be really scared, because then it just means they are super ok with no accountability, mass destruction of the planet, zero regard for other people’s lives if they happen to be even slightly different, alienation of our allies, the reverence of authoritarian dictators, personal gain over everything and everyone, racism, sexism, and the degradation of liberty. I seriously hope they impeach him, and Pence, because this cannot go on, not if we want America (as a land of the free, home of the brave) to survive.