“Blood in the streets runs a river of sadness
Blood in the streets it’s up to my thigh
Yeah the river runs red down the legs of a city
The women are crying red rivers of weepin’”
Six months ago, like most political junkies, I didn’t take Trump seriously as a candidate. I thought he was doing it to get his name in the papers and that it was basically an extension of his jacked-up reality TV ego. I didn’t think he’d go anywhere; I thought the country was sharp enough not to give some billionaire buffoon any chance of power.
I was wrong…
We are reaching a dangerous turning point in American politics. Trump is not only gaining victories left and right, but he’s doing it in a literal trail of blood. I watched live Friday night as violence exploded in Chicago, with Trump supporters brutally beating protesters inside the arena and out on the streets. And apparently, it was the second Trump event that turned brutal. Earlier in the day, at a rally in St. Louis, there was open violence between Trump supporters and protesters.
And this is not some isolated freak occurrence; Trump’s rallies have been marred by violence since last summer when he first announced his candidacy. The incidents were comparatively small; protesters have their signs ripped up by security guards, the occasional scuffle. But it’s only grown from there, as the examples from Chicago and St. Louis show.
Trump’s supporters seem to have no aversion to violence. A Trump supporter named Jim McGraw punched out a protester at a recent Trump rally and when asked about it, he replied; “Next time, we might have to kill him. We don’t know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization.” The protester he assaulted was a person of color.
His supporters are upping the ante, with a group forming a militia in the aftermath of the Chicago Riot to “protect” Trump and his supporters. They’re calling themselves “The Lion’s Guard”; not much is known about them right now as they seem to be in the first organizing stages.
Trump himself seems to have no problem with his rallies breaking out into bloodshed, as he has stated:
“Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise. They won’t be so much because the courts agree with us too — what’s going on in this country.”
The sick reality is that it does seem that there are more establishment types who agree with Trump or, at least, condone his brutal tactics. Regarding the violence at Trump’s rallies, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recently said at a press conference:
“It’s pretty clear that there’s a concerted effort by people on the left to disrupt these rallies, to disrupt these events, and that needs to be condemned.”
Now, look at that statement. Who is Ryan pointing the finger at? Is he calling out Trump’s rhetoric and support of violence? Nope, he’s pointing his finger at leftists who demonstrate at Trump events. Who was it that threw the first punches in Chicago and St. Louis? Who was it that used bigoted rhetoric towards immigrants, Hispanics, Muslims, etc.? Who was it that got the support from some of the most notorious white supremacists and racists in the country? Is it the leftists who use their constitutional right of peaceful assembly? Nope, it’s Trump and his supporters.
It won’t get better from here, folks. The violence at Trump’s rallies is only escalating and when it comes to the Republican National Convention in July, Cleveland will burn. I guarantee it, the riots will explode and you will see live in HD the brutal results of what happens when a racist demagogue is allowed to gain national traction.
The only hope we have left is that Trump doesn’t win the Republican primary and ultimately doesn’t win the Presidency. If he does, then the road to the White House in November will be written in blood, bullets, and tear gas.
Then again, maybe it’s too late. Trump has picked at scabs running deep in this country and the violent genie he’s turned loose may not go back in the bottle once the election is over, even if he loses the White House.
If that happens, then we really are fucked.
Featured image by: thenation.com