Hillary and the Left flirt with political violence

Summary:  The Left’s reactions to the San Jose riot reveal why we’ll get more riots — and worse. The previous post quoted Leftists excited about violence — when their side uses it (Trumps’ supporters will be deemed brownshirts if they use violence). This, the third post about the increasing violence of Campaign 2016, looks at the response by Democratic leaders.

“The thugs were lucky supporters remained peaceful!”
Tweet by Donald Trump. He made no promises about the future.

If we don’t keep a leash on our leaders, this might be America’s future


Videos show the small scale attacks against Trump supporters at the his San Jose rally. It’s an escalation from previous attacks. Most of those on the Left excused those, so the weak condemnations shouldn’t surprise us. Local leaders, good Democrats, replied with the standard justifications of politicians to the actions of the violent allies (popular fronts often have an associate violent “fringe” doing their dirty work). San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo gave the “blame the victims” defense, as if Trump’s words forced rioters to attack his supporters.

“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign. It is regrettable that this has become a pattern for cities hosting Mr. Trump across the nation.”  {His tweet.}

On CNN Hillary echoed the sheriff’s blame the victim attack, conflating Trump’s language with rioters’ actions — using the rioters’ actions to condemn Trump.

“I condemn all violence in our political arena. I condemned it when Donald Trump was inciting it and congratulating people who were engaging it. I condemn it by those who are taking violent protests to physical assault against Donald Trump. This has to end. He set a very bad example.

“He created an environment in which it seemed to be acceptable for someone running for president to be inciting violence, to be encouraging his supporters. Now we’re seeing people who are against him responding in kind.

“It should all stop. It is not acceptable.”

Eventually the local authorities prepared a rational story. The San Jose Police released a statement (red emphasis added)…

San Jose Police

“On Thursday, June 2, 2016, approximately 300-400 protestors gathered outside a Trump rally in San Jose. …officers were confronted by some protestors who became violent, aggressive and began to throw objects in their direction. …While several physical assaults did occur, the police personnel on scene had the difficult task of weighing the need to immediately apprehend the suspect(s) against the possibility that police action involving the use of physical force under the circumstances would further insight the crowd and produce more violent behavior.

“As Trump supporters were exiting the Convention Center, officers directed the crowd away from the protestors and suggested alternate routes of egress in order to prevent violence or a large-scale confrontation. This required the forming of crowd control lines of uniformed officers to act as a physical barrier to facilitate the movement of the crowd out of the area. The San Jose Police Department subsequently made 4 arrests for incidents including assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful assembly. A San Jose Police sergeant suffered minor injuries after a protester struck him with a metal object.”

Got to admire the honesty of their response: arresting the rioters would incite them. And allowing them free reign does what? San Jose police chief Sam Garcia released his own statement.

“We saw demonstrators behaving poorly and our officers clearing the streets as safely and expeditiously as possible. Officer safety and crowd control techniques are critical and cannot be abandoned when protestors scatter from area to area faster than the police lines can move.

“Furthermore, de-escalation techniques are important — not just when someone has a weapon. We are not an “occupying force” and cannot reflect the chaotic tactics of the protestors. Instead, we achieved our goal of clearing the streets and making arrests in an appropriate manner. Our officers should be commended for both their effectiveness and their restraint.”

Demonizing your opponent to justify violence

“What, we can’t repeat every day that a man is a unique threat to the fabric of society without some people taking us up on that?”
— Vox journalist Emmett Rensin on June 3, 2016.

Trump as Hitler

For More Information

Update – Another example of the Left encouraging violence: “Sorry Liberals, A Violent Response To Trump Is As Logical As Any” by Jesse Benn at HuffPo.

This is a follow-up to The Left disrupts Trump’s rally. More of this might put him in the WH, The Left attacks US politics by shutting down Trump’s events and San Jose’s riot tells us about the Left, Trump, & the coming violence.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See these posts about political violence, about Campaign 2016, and especially these…

  1. How to stage effective protests in the 21st century.
  2. Martin Luther King Jr’s advice to us about using violence to reform America.
  3. Why America has militarized its police and crushes protests.
  4. Why don’t political protests work? What are the larger lessons from our repeated failures?
  5. About civil disobedience: Thoreau reminds us about one of the few tools we have to control the government.

6 thoughts on “Hillary and the Left flirt with political violence”

  1. If we look at the history of Germany and elsewhere, we see that this is a leftist pattern of violence, which of course is circular, and can result in the rise of Fascism.

    1. James,

      “is circular, and can result in the rise of Fascism.”

      That’s a powerful point. Periods when the political regime is weak often brings forth violence from both extremes, as they position to gain power — their violence feeding each other.

      “we see that this is a leftist pattern of violence”

      I’m not certain that is correct. So many instances of violence by Left and Right, so much variety in dynamics. Characterizing them is difficult, and should be done with care.

  2. I do think that Trump has been issuing threats to just about every possible opposing group or politician, as well as the media. He threatened to change the libel laws. Perhaps his intention is just to inflame enough people to get enough violence to gain more media attention. It seems that his statements get more outrageous each day. The folks who protest his rallies are being used by him. Why can’t they figure it out.

    A few hundred people or less show up and create a situation and all those who do not support him are cast in the same light. “If you don’t support Trump you are a menace to society.”

    MLK knew that violence would ruin the cause, and he somehow exercised that control over his followers, but Bernie Sanders has been unwilling or unable to do so.

    Then again perhaps these violent ones were paid by Trump supporters, or possibly another of Sanders opponents.

    Just hip shooting on that, but nothing would surprise me at this point.

    1. Doug,

      “He threatened to change the libel laws.”

      That’s an odd use of the word “threat” in a discussion about violence. esp since Congress initiates and passes laws; the President only signs them.

      “Perhaps his intention is just to inflame enough people to get enough violence to gain more media attention.”

      You base that description of his intent on telepathy? Or are you just making stuff up?

      “The folks who protest his rallies are being used by him. Why can’t they figure it out.”

      Perhaps they agree with him.

      “A few hundred people or less show up and create a situation and all those who do not support him are cast in the same light. “If you don’t support Trump you are a menace to society.” ”

      Please provide some sort of supporting evidence that somebody actually said that. My guess is that you just made that up.

      “Then again perhaps these violent ones were paid by Trump supporters, or possibly another of Sanders opponents.”

      Then again, perhaps you’re just making up weird, without the slightest evidence.

  3. The fact is that in America, the right (KKK, Union Breaking, Nixon’s Hard Hats) has been far more effective in wielding political violence than the left has (the Stonewall Riots?). I don’t think they realize what they are asking for.

    1. Rando,

      You mention “Nixon’s hard hats” — during the period of the great race riots (America’s inner cities burning every summer), the anti-draft riots (sometimes brutally attacked by police), and the bombings by the various radical leftist groups? You must be kidding us.

      But overall in American history there is no comparison, as you correctly say. Slavery, the KKK and its cousins attacking Black Americans, against native Americans and immigrants, the massive violence against workers from 1832-1937 (see the list here), the suppression of the Occupy movement, the anti-abortionist violence — violence has been a tool of the Right to maintain the social order and boost profits.

      But that does not mean that the Left will not — as they did in the 1960s — initiate a cycle of political violence. If so, predictions of how it plays out should be made with awareness that the future is not constrained by the past.

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