About our free speech event in Garland, Texas last May, which was intended to be a stand for free speech against violent intimidation, Donald Trump said: “I watched Pam earlier, and it really looks like she’s just taunting everybody. What is she doing drawing Muhammad? I mean it’s disgusting. Isn’t there something else they could be doing? Drawing Muhammad?…They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody? What is she doing? Why is she doing it? It’s probably very risky for her — I don’t know, maybe she likes risk? But what the hell is she doing?”
And now, after Leftist fascist thugs forcibly shut down one of his events in Chicago last night, Trump’s Republican opponents, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, are effectively saying, Well, he had it coming, he brought it on himself, just as Trump did of Pamela Geller after Garland.
Is there no candidate who understands the importance of the freedom of speech? Rubio comes closest to articulating it below, but then shows he doesn’t understand it himself. He says: “Whether you disagree with someone or what he’s about to say…you don’t have a right to take away the First Amendment right of people to speak freely.” But then he says, “I think he bears some responsibility for the general tone.” So the thugs shut down the Trump rally, and it is at least partially Trump’s fault, because he told people (obviously facetiously) to beat up people who were trying to disrupt his events.
No one should call for any kind of violence, even jokingly, in these overheated times, but the idea that the Leftists shut down Trump’s rally because he said that is ridiculous. Do Rubio, Cruz and Kasich think that the Leftists who shut down Trump’s rally don’t think of them in much the same way they think of Trump — as “racists” and “bigots” who must be violently opposed? Maybe they do, because their rallies haven’t been shut down. But that’s coming, and that day is coming faster now that the three of them have tacitly encouraged the rioters by claiming that Trump is at least partially responsible for what they did.
In that scenario, you see, it becomes incumbent upon Trump not to say anything that Leftist thugs might dislike, or he will bear partial responsibility for what they do. Cruz, Rubio and Kasich, of course, will also have to be careful not to “create an environment” that might force the Left-fascists to shut them down as well. But unless they become clones of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, they will inevitably end up creating that “environment” anyway, despite their being more decorous and careful than Trump. And then they will be responsible for what they get, won’t they?
The simple principle has been utterly forgotten, but it is nonetheless still true: no one bears responsibility for anyone else’s actions, unless that person is being coerced. No matter what he has said, Donald Trump didn’t force the Leftists to shut him down, and he bears no responsibility for doing so or for “creating an environment” in which these kinds of things happen. The only people responsible are the Leftist thugs themselves. They could have reacted in any number of other ways to what Donald Trump has said and advocated, just as Muslims don’t have to riot and kill when they see cartoons of Muhammad, and if they choose to do so, they alone bear the responsibility for their actions.
Neither Trump, nor Cruz, nor Rubio, nor Kasich seem to get this elementary point. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders? Forget it. It should be a basic requirement that someone who wants to be the President of the United States should understand the importance of the freedom of speech and be determined to defend it. Instead, we have now six candidates who have all shown that they are willing to sacrifice it under certain circumstances, and acquiesce to a tyranny of the violent. These are dark days indeed, and it’s only going to get worse.
“Protesters cheer when Trump rally canceled, jeer supporters, Associated Press, March 12, 2016:
CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of jubilant protesters chanted victory cries and jeered at glum Donald Trump supporters as they filed out of an auditorium where the Republican presidential candidate abruptly canceled a campaign rally Friday night.
Outside, the tenor of hourslong protests shifted when one protester passed on word of the cancellation through a megaphone on the campus of the ethnically diverse University of Illinois at Chicago. The crowd roared in delight and began chanting: “We stopped Trump! We stopped Trump!”
The protesters closed in on the building, obstructing most of the exits just as Trump supporters began filing out. The Trump supporters had little choice but to push through the anti-Trump crowds that parted only slightly, yelling, “Racists go home!”…
“Cruz, Rubio and Kasich criticize Trump for creating ‘environment’ for Chicago protest,” by David Weigel, Washington Post, March 11, 2016:
…Rubio, who is camped out in his home state in advance of the March 15 primary, told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that Trump was finding out that his “words have real consequences.” But roughly half of Rubio’s analysis was a criticism of the political left. After stating his appreciation for Chicago’s police, Rubio said that the protests needed to be put in contest [sic].
“This is Chicago, protesters are an industry,” he said. “It is clear, just from watching some of these images, that this was an organized effort, an orchestrated effort, from groups that wanted to disrupt this event, and Chicago is a hub for that sort of activity. I would also say that people have a right, whether you disagree with someone or what he’s about to say – and I certainly disagree with Donald Trump on many things, it’s why I’m running against him for president – you don’t have a right to take away the First Amendment right of people to speak freely. I think you’ve seen some of this on college campuses recently. There was an article, not long ago I think, that [conservative commentator] Ben Shapiro tried to speak on a campus, and they basically shut him down. So I think this is crossing over into the broader society, and it’s problematic.”
With that said, Rubio criticized Trump for his well-documented mockery of the people who interrupted his rallies.
“I wouldn’t say Mr. Trump is responsible for the events of tonight,” said Rubio, “but he is most certainly, in other events, has in the past used some pretty rough language, saying in the good old days we used to beat these people up, or I’ll pay your legal bills if you rough them up. So I think he bears some responsibility for the general tone.”
As Rubio was wrapping up, Cruz was standing outside a dinner event in Rolling Meadows, Ill., for an impromptu press conference. He took a harsher tone, significantly stepping up what he’d said to radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier that night.
“The responsibility for that lies with protesters, who took violence into their own hands. But in any campaign, responsibility starts at the top. Any candidate is responsible for the culture of a campaign. And when you have a campaign that disrespects the voters, when you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence, when you have a campaign that is facing allegations of physical violence against members of the press, you create an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discord,” Cruz said, citing an event in Florida that had already led to a criminal complaint, but not heretofore been mentioned by a rival candidate….
Asked if Trump should have gone ahead with the rally, Cruz paused for a moment, then said the decision should have been based on public safety.
“But I think a campaign bears responsibility for creating an environment when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face,” said Cruz. “The predictable consequence of that is that it escalates, and today is unlikely to be the last such instance. We saw, earlier today, in St. Louis, over 30 arrested. That’s not how our politics should occur. You know, the city of Chicago in 1968 saw some ugly days, when politics descended into hatred and incivility and even violence. It is my hope that in 2016 we can appeal to our better angels, to avoid going down that road once again.”…
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose scheduled MSNBC town hall was pre-empted by the Chicago chaos, issued a statement late Friday night that pinned the blame on Trump himself.
“Tonight the seeds of division that Donald Trump has been sowing this whole campaign finally bore fruit, and it was ugly,” said Kasich. “Some let their opposition to his views slip beyond protest into violence, but we can never let that happen. I urge people to resist that temptation and rise to a higher level….