Protesters lit fires, smashed a door and threw rocks outside a Donald Trump rally Tuesday night in New Mexico -- the latest scuffle to follow the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign.
The protesters had broken a glass door to the convention center. Some taunted police and jumped on police vehicles as officers in riot gear and on police horses moved them away from the convention center's exits.
Trump had already left the event.
Those protestors are afraid of a Trump presidency, and what it might mean to them, and their families. And they should be. Trump is loathsome, and he supports loathsome ideals. Many of his supporters are loathsome. Racism and xenophobia are nothing to be taken lightly. Those protestors should be frightened. They should be frightened enough to be smarter about their protests.
Two Republican presidents, Nixon and Reagan, owed their presidencies in part, to their promise to restore “law and order,” to calm the fears of voters who were afraid of and angry at protesters. Another Republican, George HW Bush, used the image of a scary minority, Willie Horton, to help wedge his way into a term in the White House.
Don’t make Trump another one.
Don’t attack police. Don’t destroy property. Don’t make John and Jane Q Public more afraid of you than they are of Trump. As soon as you do, they will vote for Trump, crazy as he talks, and ignorant as he is, because he becomes the lesser of two evils. Don’t give them that excuse. Protest. Respectfully. Debate. With dignity. Make damn sure the voting public sees you as you are, as a human being with hopes and aspirations and the potential to make the country a better place for everyone, and not as Trump wants them to see you — as a dangerous, lawless threat who will tear this country down. Make this election about humanity and hope, not law and order. If you want to beat Trump, do it in the way that will hurt the most: at the election. It’s the one event he can’t leave before you arrive.
A couple of people want to argue about the 1968 Chicago DNC Convention, blaming the riots on the police. They miss the point. It doesn’t matter who started it or why, what matters is how the public perceives these things. Nixon benefitted from the riots. That’s a fact. Reagan rode the student protests of the ‘60s straight to the governorship of California, and from there, made his way to the White House. That, too, is a fact. Is there anyone who seriously believes the image of minority protesters injuring cops is anything but good for Trump’s campaign?