This week was already going to be a huge one in politics. With the debate and the second Super Tuesday scheduled, it was supposed to be the week in which the Republican Party could finally determine whether or not Trump's nomination was inevitable. Instead, a bigger story emerged, and it could be a sign of things to come should Trump make it to the general election. If he does, we've got a tumultuous year ahead of us.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled one of his signature rallies Friday, saying he didn't want to see “people get hurt” after protesters packed into the Chicago arena where it was to take place.
The announcement that the billionaire businessman would postpone the rally until another day led a large portion of the crowd inside the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion to break out into raucous cheers. Meanwhile, supporters of the candidate started chanting “We want Trump! We want Trump!”
There were isolated physical confrontations between some members of the crowd after the event was canceled.
Speaking later with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, Trump said he had arrived in Chicago two hours earlier and about 25,000 people were trying to enter the arena.
After meeting with law enforcement authorities, he said, “I didn't want to see people get hurt (so) I decided to postpone the rally…
“What we did was intelligent,” Trump said. “A very good decision…a wise decision.”
He also told Van Susteren, “if we had the rally, I think it would not have been a good situation.” But, he added, “Our First Amendment rights have been violated.”
This event should have been a slam dunk PR opportunity for Trump's campaign. While Trump has few friends in the media, one would think even they would have no choice but to condemn the suppression of speech and threats of violence made toward a presidential candidate.
Maybe unsurprisingly, that isn't the case. Trump is being blamed, and the liberal media and politicians are instead cheering for the protestors.
Ilya Sheyman, a failed Illinois contender for Congress and the executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, has taken credit for the violence at a cancelled Trump event last night in Chicago. He promised similar violence and disruption will occur at future Trump political events leading up to the election.
“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events,” on the George Soros funded MoveOn web page. “To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election.”
Yes, they thank the violence, they thank the suppression of speech, and they thank the perpetuation of such acts all the way to the general election.
If that weren't crazy enough, they've now dragged the other candidates into the fray, and even Trump's conservative opponents are seizing the opportunity to denounce the businessman for the actions of the anti-Trump protestors.
Only in this election, and only with Trump could a candidate be blamed for violence threatened against him, and that's exactly what Ted Cruz did when asked by Hugh Hewitt about whether Cruz's events have seen such ugly escalations.
Ted Cruz's reaction to the Trump protests via the Hugh Hewitt program pic.twitter.com/D7odnyFYZP
— Alan He (@alanhe) March 12, 2016
It looked until now as if the political world had reached the pinnacle in absurdity, but now it appears the circus has just begun. With a liberal, biased media that perpetuates the anti-Trump narrative and refuses to condemn the violence it incites, and a disaffected, powerful coalition of Americans steadfastly behind Trump, this may be the new normal.
If it is, 2016 will be a sad chapter of American democracy. Unfortunately, it looks as if the chapter has already begun.