Conflict on the Trump campaign trail: Who to blame? Who does it help? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Conflict on the Trump campaign trail: Who to blame? Who does it help?

Posted By on Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 6:50 AM

click to enlarge KEEPING THE PEACE: St. Louis cops at work to quell disturbances at a Trump rally.
  • KEEPING THE PEACE: St. Louis cops at work to quell disturbances at a Trump rally.
The big story of the presidential campaign — for the next few days, at least — seems likely to be the increasing heat of Donald Trump rallies.

A Chicago rally was canceled yesterday because of a protest that provoked shouting, shoving and angry words between Trump supporters and demonstrators. Debate will rage about whether Trump himself has encouraged the anger of his supporters; whether demonstrators have provoked confrontations rather than taking the peaceful approach of a Martin Luther King; who to blame for the protestors (Bernie? Hillary? The economy? Trump?); the response of opposing candidates.

Campaigns are entitled to tamp down protests through lawful means — as opposed to sucker punches and shouted curses. In the past, some have taken expensive and thorough steps to ensure they don't occur — George W. Bush events were hermetically sealed.

No doubt Trump has, in his rambling discourses, seemed to have given license at times to the pugnacious among his followers, though last night he struck a more peaceful note following the rally cancellation.

Another big question is whether the protests and the Trump response help him or hurt him. Given what's gone before in this campaign, I'm not ready to hazard a guess.

Your thoughts?

I do know there's ugliness out there. The videos assembled from a St. Louis Trump rally this week inevitably recall ugly mobs in world history.

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