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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Thinking about the Egging in San Jose

I found the violence against Trump supporters in San Jose the other night, including the egging of a young woman in the face, very disturbing.

First and foremost: what was going on with the police?  Usually they're quick to illegally declare a peaceful demonstration illegal and move in to break it up, in violation of the protesters's First Amendment rights.   But in San Jose the police did just the opposite, standing by, in the video coverage I saw on MSNBC, barely moving as anti-Trump protesters surrounded and sometimes pounced on Trump supporters leaving the pro-Trump rally.

To be clear: I think Trump is a monstrosity, and I'll do everything I can to see that's he's not elected. But that does not and will never include violating other people's' rights, including the right to attend a pro-Trump rally.

Who would disagree with that?  What is the basis of these violent anti-Trump tactics?  A few of the anti-Trump people in the streets of San Jose said they were Bernie Sanders supporters.   Bernie condemned the violence the next day from anyone who claims to be one of his supporters, and that was good to see.   But is there something in Bernie's message which evokes such violence among even a sliver of his supporters?

Well, he says he wants a revolution in this country, and although he no doubt means a peaceful revolution, the word can be a magnet to people who might resort to violence.  And I think it goes too far, in any case.  I want change and improvement in this country - health care for all, two years parental leave with pay, free college for all who want it, etc - but I want to get those changes through the democratic process, through laws enacted, not through revolution which has even the slightest connotation of violence.

That's one of the many reasons I strongly support Hillary for the Democratic nomination.   But I would vote for Bernie in a heartbeat over Trump if that was the general election choice, and hope that now and in the future, whatever position Bernie may hold, he continues to speak out with passion against criminals who commit violence and disrupt the democratic process in his name.

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