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Violently attacking Trump supporters is a clear attack on democracy

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My disdain for Trump is clear and warranted.

I’ve cringed at his first xenophobic speech of this election cycle where he attacked Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, I’ve fumed over the students he scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars during his Trump University venture, and I’ve worried when he used violent rhetoric indicating that he wanted to punch a protestor “in the face.”

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I know the impact of inciting violence through language, and unfortunately it led to many brutal physical attacks against people who have protested him at his rallies.

But now we’re seeing unjustified violence on both sides, and it needs to stop.

There are reports of anti-Trump protestors chasing and attacking his supporters in San Jose. Every time I see images of the female Trump supporter covered in eggs while men in masks hurl insults at her, I feel pain over the assault on her and our democracy.

Regardless of how deplorable Trump is, using violence and physical attacks against his supporters is unacceptable and grossly counterproductive. No one can argue that they value the Constitution or the first amendment if they physically attack others for political speech that they disagree with. We’re supposed to fight back with ideas, civil disobedience, voting and political activism.

It’s understandable that Trump’s green light for physical violence against protestors at his rallies infuriates his opponents. His inflammatory language has unfortunately done more than just cause tempers to flare, and now we’re seeing justifications of violence that can never be justified. But no one has the right to put their hands on anyone over any reason, including political disagreements. No one has the right to throw bottles or eggs at someone who’s exercising their Constitutional rights.

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Trumps opponents simply cannot stoop to his level. I completely understand the rage, and I feel it on a daily basis in the reporting I do. But I also know that fighting with information, education, and peaceful political activism goes a long way. It’s also a lot more productive than giving Trump’s campaign material to attack his opponents with.

I hate being put in a position where I have to defend someone as disgusting as Trump. If you value the democratic process, you have to value the protection of political speech. Period.


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WATCH: Trump holds mask-optional Mount Rushmore rally and fireworks celebration

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President Donald Trump left the White House during the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday to attend an Independence Day event in South Dakota.

Trump was told not to attend but did so anyway.

“Trump coming here is a safety concern not just for my people inside and outside the reservation, but for people in the Great Plains. We have such limited resources in Black Hills, and we’re already seeing infections rising,” the Oglala Sioux president, Julian Bear Runner, told the Guardian. “It’s going to cause an uproar if he comes here. People are going to want to exercise their first amendment rights to protest and we do not want to see anyone get hurt or the lands be destroyed."

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Ana Kasparian's #NoFilter

One of COVID-19’s unlisted side effects: An increase in police power

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As governments across the globe expand mass surveillance programs in the name of public health, activist and whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that we are watching them build "the architecture of oppression." Perhaps more insidious are new measures that simply expand the power and discretion of the police to "enforce social distancing" in the name of flattening the curve — many of which were passed swiftly in just the past few weeks.

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Ana Kasparian's #NoFilter

Women on the frontline: Nurses are patients’ last contact before passing away

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Every night, from their balconies and windows, the French publicly applaud healthcare workers and nursing staff on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. In France, nearly 90 percent of nurses are female. So how are these women coping with this unprecedented crisis? FRANCE 24 spoke to four of them.

"For the moment, our most important mission is to help patients but if this continues, they will have to find cannon fodder elsewhere," said Leslie, a palliative care nurse in Marseille, working 12 hours a day to care for people at the end of their life.

Like all hospitals and clinics in France, her department is constantly receiving critical Covid-19 cases: "We have drastically reduced visits, so imagine telling families, who know their loved ones are at the end of their life, that they have no right to see them. Psychologically, this is incredibly difficult for us. We are their only contact before they die. "

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