Dangerous Territory

trump cartoon

Let’s start by saying that there is no place in a democracy for violence.

It is the dark underbelly of our most cherished institution.  We are supposed to rely on our vote rather than the threat of violence in order to effect change.

That said, we have a history of political violence in this country.

The original Boston patriots were a violent group.  One of the reason the rest of the original colonies were reluctant to join the revolution was their fear that after defeating the British, the Boston militia would turn on the rest of the colonies.

The Jim Crow south was built on violence and intimidation.  A white minority imposed a social order on the black majority by taking away their votes and setting up a legal system that was rigged against them.  The latest version of that scheme was on display in Ferguson, MO.

The anti-war movement was galvanized by the Kent Massacre where unarmed students were gunned down by National Guard troops.  That single event did more than hours of news footage from Viet Nam to ultimately create the political will to end the draft and the war.

This time around, however, it is different.

MLK organized marches in the south for the specific purpose of raising awareness in the rest of the country to the institutional racism that governed the south.  The images of the peaceful protestors being attacked by police spoke far more eloquently than any speech about the injustice of racism.  Those protests also reflected a confidence in the how the country would respond when they realized what was going on.  Our government responded with civil rights legislation.

The anti-war movement protested the morality of sending kids to war who didn’t have an opportunity to vote on that policy.  Our government did eventually respond.  The war ended.  The draft was abolished.  The voting age reduced.

This time around, however, the presumptive Republican nominee for the office of the President says that he is going to deport 11M people who are here illegally and restrict and monitor the activities of Muslims.

We’ve always had extreme candidates run for President.  Strom Thurmond and George Wallace are just a couple of examples of candidates who supported legalized segregation.  None of these extreme candidates ever had a chance to become president.

Trump does.

When the potential President of the United States says that he plans to forcibly deport members of your family, how are you going to react?

When the potential President of the United States says that he plans to spy on your place of worship and keep track of your activities in a database just because of your religion, how are you going to react?

If you have trust in democracy and the courts, you may plan to vote for whoever runs against this guy in the fall; send them some money, or even volunteer to work on their behalf.

If you don’t trust that in the current institutions of our government, but you do trust in the decency of the majority of people in this country, you may take to the streets to peacefully express your opinion in the hopes that other voters will understand the depth of your concern.

If you don’t trust in the current institutions of our government and distrust the basic decency of the majority of the people in this country, you may get frustrated and angry.  That anger and frustration may drive you to confront those who you feel intend to harm you.  That’s when the fabric of society starts to fray.

We enter into very dangerous territory when groups feel as though the only choice they have is to physically confront those that disagree with them.  But what other way do we have to demonstrate to the larger population that Trump and his supporters are violent?

The dangerous territory is when this violence is used to justify violence.

The dangerous territory is when those who advocate violence are able to win an election because they claim that this tactic is the only effective response to violence.

The dangerous territory is when that violence is directed as a class of people whose only sin is who their parents were or how they choose to worship.

We’ve been in dangerous territory before.  Adams passed a blatantly discriminatory Alien and Sedition act in 1798.  The country tolerated slavery for 200 years and segregation for another 100 years.  The Justice Department under Wilson tried to create a list of all German aliens (sound familiar?).  4000 were imprisoned.  There was at least one documented incident of a lynching in Illinois. FDR interred the Japanese during WWII.  We had a massive clandestine domestic spying program.  We tortured suspected terrorists and are still holding some a decade later in a prison on foreign soil without any plan to try them.

We will survive this period too, but it will require work and will likely cause wounds that will take some time to heal.

 

 

10 Responses to “Dangerous Territory”

  1. Keith says:

    Your worst post ever Jeff. The violence is on the left. Period. You are doing you best to attribute it to Trump but is isn’t there. Violence in my lifetime has always been the property of the left. (Including 55 million plus aborted babies)

    To Trumps comment about the judge.
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15judge.html?referer=

  2. Keith says:

    Also I find destrubing the night before the California primary in a dead heat the media calls Hillary the presumptive winner

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Your worst post ever Jeff. The violence is on the left. Period. You are doing you best to attribute it to Trump but is isn’t there. Violence in my lifetime has always been the property of the left. (Including 55 million plus aborted babies)

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Your confirmation bias regarding violence is astounding. Property of the left? You serious? It really isn’t worth a comment beyond that. Please post something from a credible source to support your position. In the meantime, here’s a simple list of violence during the Trump campaign.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/02/a_list_of_violent_incidents_at_donald_trump_rallies_and_events.html

    There are 18 incidents listed. Two were perpetrated by anti-Trump forces. One was both sides. That leaves 15 which were all perpetrated by Trump forces.

    Also please don’t drag that abortion bone around. Abortion is legal. It is not murder. It is not a violent crime.

    What about the fact that more people have died from guns since 1968 than the total number of deaths in all of this country’s wars?

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jan/18/mark-shields/pbs-commentator-mark-shields-says-more-killed-guns/

    See I can do this too. Neither the gun argument nor the abortion argument apply to this discussion.

    I’m talking about political violence.

    As far as Trump’s comments about the judge, he is now trying to walk them back and saying that he was misunderstood. Typical Trump tactics to dominate the news cycle. I’ll post something about this in the near future.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/08/us/politics/trump-university-judge.html?_r=0

    Likely you and others will say things like, “Everyone deserves a fair trial”, and “He has every right to question the impartiality of the judge”. The problem is that he questioned the impartiality of the judge because of his heritage and then piled on that remark to suggest that he probably couldn’t get a fair shake from Muslim judges either, he finished up the trifecta with a question of whether he could get a fair trial from any judge appointed by a Democrat. He walked that back today by saying that he didn’t mean to imply that Mexicans were incapable of being fair. Nice try.

    As a private citizen, Trump has every right to question whether or not any particular judge ruled fairly.

    As a candidate for President, he is moving into dangerous territory when he suggests that he could not get a fair trial from a judge of Mexican heritage, Muslim religion, or one that was appointed by a Democrat.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Also I find destrubing the night before the California primary in a dead heat the media calls Hillary the presumptive winner

    This BS is straight outta the right wing bubble.

    Trump became the presumptive nominee when he won Indiana, not when Cruz and Kasich dropped out of the race.

    That term is applied to the people who have collected enough votes to win on the first ballot at their party’s convention. Trump’s vote total included the Republican version of Super Delegates who have publicly announced that they were backing Trump.

    Presumptive means that we are all making the assumption that nothing will happen between now and the convention to change those facts.

    If a Trump sex tape surfaced with him and an underage Mexican girl, there might be some movement at the convention to nominate someone else.

    Similarly, the AP, after taking a survey of Super Delegates determined that Clinton had secured enough votes to win the nomination on the first ballot. Her campaign said they were going to wait until the Tuesday primaries were over before they were going to claim anything. But it is virtually certain that Clinton will win enough elected delegates along with those Super Delegates who have publicly announced their votes, to claim victory.

    The Wash Post has a good read on this whole thing.

    To get a majority of all of the Democratic delegates without superdelegates — 2,383 — you’d need to win 58.8 percent of the pledged delegates. That means winning about 58.8 percent of all votes cast, thanks to the Democrats’ proportional system. To date, Clinton has won about 56 percent of the votes cast (per U.S. Election Atlas’s tally), just shy of enough to put the race away without superdelegates weighing in.

    Trump, on the other hand, has won about 41 percent of Republican votes, but the non-proportional system the Republicans use has allowed him to cobble together more delegates for each state win. But even so, when the Associated Press reported that Trump had sealed the GOP nomination at the end of last month, it was including the votes of those unbound delegates. On Tuesday, Trump will pass the margin of bound delegates he needs to clinch officially — but the AP was very comfortable calling it for him without his having done so.

    So Sanders argument that Clinton is not the popular choice just doesn’t hold water. He has indeed done a remarkable job of making the Democratic Primary interesting. He has failed, however, to win enough of mainstream democrats, minorities, and women to win the nomination. This is NOT about the Super Delegates. If he were in fact leading Clinton in the popular vote, he could make that case, but he isn’t.

    He has every right to campaign right through to the convention. But at this point he is hoping for some external event (like an FBI indictment). If that doesn’t happen, he is going to lose on the first ballot and Clinton will become the party’s nominee. Then it will be his responsibility to accept the outcome, support the nominee, and tell his followers that he expects them to support Hillary too because it is WAY more important to defeat Trump.

  5. Keith says:

    Even Chuck Todd and others on the night of the California primary “wished the proclaimation had not occurred. ”

    How many deaths with guns have been suicides. Might want to carefully understand the statistic.

    Your using slate info?

    A black taunting whites at a Trump rally in the south and he gets sucker punched and you’re going to think that has anything to do with Trump?

    As soon a scientist find water in another planet they, along with you, will declare life on that planet. A baby in the womb however will not draw the same comment.

    Judge Sotimyara said race and gender will absolutely play into decisions. Read that comment the other day. Note

    23% of the time Hillary isn’t lying and she NOT speaking off the cuff but with prepares, carefully crafted comments. You’re good with that?

    What does the IG have to say about her in their report on her emails. In summary, “she’s a liar.” And thisnisnwith her carefully crafted, lawyerly, TelePrompTer statements.

    Jeff – I’m carefully and tepidly saying this. You’re insistence on race is appalling. “White guys”

    Wanna know how many Muslims & Mexicans I know that are for Trump?

  6. Keith says:

    In the “liar” score finding Hillary at 23% and Trump at whatever. Is the distinction made between Lying and just being wrong?

    Kind of like you deaths due to guns. You used a number that includes suicides which is a major contributor to the total number. With out those the number dwindles to less of a eye opener in comparison to other things. Were you being deceptive, lying, using that number, or were you just ignorant or wrong? See the difference. Or there are 57 states. Was Oresident Obama a liar to say that or was he just wrong. Or even did he just miss speak?

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Even Chuck Todd and others on the night of the California primary “wished the proclaimation had not occurred. ”

    Chuck Todd didn’t say it was disturbing. AP defended their announcement saying that they had news, which was that Clinton had exceeded her number. They used the same metric that they have been using for decades. What would have been “disturbing” is if they suppressed that news.

    How many deaths with guns have been suicides. Might want to carefully understand the statistic.

    I’m well aware of the suicide statistics. More guns = more suicides. Whether they died by their own hand or the hand of another, they are still dead. I’m not interested in having the gun argument or the abortion argument. We are not going to agree. So please don’t attempt to use abortion as some false equivalency and I won’t use guns.

    Your using slate info?

    It’s just a list. If you can find incidents that weren’t on the list, let me know.

    A black taunting whites at a Trump rally in the south and he gets sucker punched and you’re going to think that has anything to do with Trump?

    1. Please post something from a credible source suggesting that the one incident that you object to was the result of taunting.
    2. This is a typical confirmation bias type response. Rather than deal with the core issue which is that MOST of the violent incidents occurred INSIDE Trump rallies and were perpetrated by Trump supporters, you picked out one incident and attempted to discredit the other 14.

    As soon a scientist find water in another planet they, along with you, will declare life on that planet. A baby in the womb however will not draw the same comment.

    Is abortion going to be your goto argument when have nothing else to say? The abortion issue is not about when life begins. The courts have said that until the baby can survive outside the womb, the rights of the mother take precedence. So I’m not going to re-argue the whole – when life begins subject. We will make no progress.

    What does that have to do with the search for life on other planets?

    Judge Sotimyara said race and gender will absolutely play into decisions. Read that comment the other day.

    Please post a link to that quote and I will be happy to look at it.

    Note

    23% of the time Hillary isn’t lying and she NOT speaking off the cuff but with prepares, carefully crafted comments. You’re good with that?

    You don’t read very well. I said she tells the complete truth 23% of the time. Trump tells the complete truth 3% of the time. That is the comparison.

    Here’s how the rest of the categories compare.

    Mostly True: Clinton 27% Trump 6%
    Half True: Clinton 22% Trump 16%
    Mostly False: Clinton 15% Trump 16%
    False: Clinton 12% Trump 41%
    Pants on Fire: Clinton 1% Trump 19%

    72% of the time she is telling the truth (at least mostly). That’s what she is doing with the rest of her time. Trump is telling the truth (at least mostly) only 25% of time. The issue is relative. Trump does not get a pass because he is commenting off-the-cuff. I would MUCH prefer a President who is well prepared and makes decisions based on facts rather than a President who makes decisions “off-the-cuff”

    What does the IG have to say about her in their report on her emails. In summary, “she’s a liar.” And thisnisnwith her carefully crafted, lawyerly, TelePrompTer statements.

    Politifact rated Clinton’s claim that her email practices were allowed as False. Yes it was a lie, but not a BIG lie.

    What did the FBI and Justice Department say about Trump’s claim that crime is rising? He’s a big liar.

    What did Politifact say regarding Trump’s claim that thousands of Muslims were celebrating the collapse of the Trade Center towers on 9/11? He’s a big liar.

    What does RealClearPolitics.com say about Trump’s claim that he does better with women than Clinton? He’s a big liar.

    I could go on, but hopefully you get the picture.

    Jeff – I’m carefully and tepidly saying this. You’re insistence on race is appalling. “White guys”

    Just the facts about his supporters.

    from the Washington Post

    Trump’s supporters are not just overwhelmingly white. They are also largely male. In the Post-ABC poll, nearly two out of every three people supporting Trump were men.

    This is the group that feels most threatened by current economic conditions and demographic shifts.

    Wanna know how many Muslims & Mexicans I know that are for Trump?

    Doesn’t matter how many you know. They aren’t representative.

    From the WSJ

    So far, Hispanic voters have a very negative view of Mr. Trump, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey conducted this month shows. Some 68% would back Mrs. Clinton and 20% would back Mr. Trump if the two faced off in the general election, the survey found. Mrs. Clinton’s 48-point advantage among Hispanics is far larger than her 3-point lead among voters overall in the survey.

    From CNN

    Gallup tracking polls conducted from July through March found that 13% of Muslims have a favorable opinion of the billionaire businessman.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And thisnisnwith her carefully crafted, lawyerly, TelePrompTer statements.

    BTW, just discovered that Clinton does not normally use a TelePrompter.

    Here’s a quote from a CNN article about her speech today following the Orlando killings.

    And in a sign that Clinton wanted to be more exact with her comments, she spoke using a TelePrompTer, something she doesn’t usually do.

    So you can stop using the “off the cuff” defense for Trump now too and admit that Clinton’s precision is the result of being better prepared, and probably more knowledgeable about the subject matter because of her experience.

  9. Keith says:

    Again very little time.

    You didn’t read my comment. I said in my life time violence is the property of the left. You choose to discuss trump supporters when prevolked. Not what I was saying. Mass violent protest, like ferguson, Baltimore , Chicago, LA, recent protestors at trump rally’s. Premeditated violence and destruction of public property.

    I’m not responding to every comment. Don’t assume I’m picking a choosing.

    Abortion is relevant. It’s life. Has nothing to do with science as much as you’d like to appease your concience that way. The survive outside the mothers womb is pathetic. Can a two week old survive on its own? Can a 89 year old in a care home. Nice try.

    Hillary only merely lied about her email. Laughable again. National security. Why?

    I am NO defender of Trumps but the title spiritual wickedness make me wonder…… My goodness

    Did President Obamas economic plan call for 11 trillion in new debt?

    Is Hillary educated, you bet she is. Is she wise? Has she made great decisions in the last? She has a public record. The Middle East did not go her way. The Russian reset has her finger prints all over it. She votes to support Bush’s war. Jeff she has a record and it ain’t pretty.

    Does trump speak off the cuff, you yes. That a huge appeal. We are sick of the practiced politician. Should the the first card the Mexico be we’re going to build a wall? Absolutely!!! Why not? Etc etc etc. not sure you get that.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Abortion is relevant. It’s life. Has nothing to do with science as much as you’d like to appease your concience that way. The survive outside the mothers womb is pathetic. Can a two week old survive on its own? Can a 89 year old in a care home. Nice try.

    It is not a “nice try”. It is the law and the basis for the Supreme Court decision which legalized access to abortion across the country. “Survive” in the SCOTUS definition is exist, not be self supporting. The fact that you seem to feel that you can pick and choose which laws you obey and which decisions you support speaks volumes about the conservative mind set. At some point in time you and the rest of the pro-life folks are going to have to come to terms with the fact that this decision IS NOT going to be reversed – particularly when Clinton gets to appoint three new judges to the court. The reason it won’t be reversed is because the law does not accord the same rights to a fetus that it does to a “walking around” person (Scalia’s term). It isn’t that the law is saying that the fetus doesn’t have rights. It is just saying that until the fetus can “walk around”, the rights of the mother override any rights that the fetus might have.

    You may feel that abortion is murder, but so is capital punishment. Capital punishment is legal in this country under our current laws. The constitution does have language regarding cruel and unusual punishment, but in the interpretation of our highest court, execution does not fall under that definition. Same is true about abortion. The fetus does not possess all of the rights of a “walking around” individual. So just as the court allows the interests of the state in kill a person for their crime, the interests of the mother give her the rights to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reasons she chooses up to the time when the fetus can survive outside the womb.

    At some point, pro-life folks will get over this issue of abortion as “murder”. Then we can start to focus on what should be our shared agenda – reducing the DEMAND for abortion rather than trying to restrict the supply.

    Hillary only merely lied about her email. Laughable again. National security. Why?

    I guess the facts don’t really matter to you. I posted the Politifact article on this issue. You seem to feel that this individual event disqualifies Clinton from running for President. As I’ve mentioned before, you will find in November that you are in the minority.

    I am NO defender of Trumps but the title spiritual wickedness make me wonder…… My goodness

    Trump is determined to make this election a referendum on him. If you do not vote for Clinton, you ARE voting for Trump. So please stop suggesting that you don’t support or defend Trump. Your actions will help determine who occupies the White House in January.

    Did President Obamas economic plan call for 11 trillion in new debt?

    In a word, no. Here’s an article on the budget proposal from the Wash Post and a relevant quote.

    Under the proposal, the federal deficit would shrink to $503 billion in fiscal 2017, down from the current fiscal year but substantially more than the $438 billion figure for last year that Obama has been using when boasting about deficit reduction. In the plan, the federal deficit over the next decade would average 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, the same as its share of the economy for fiscal 2017.

    Does trump speak off the cuff, you yes. That a huge appeal. We are sick of the practiced politician. Should the the first card the Mexico be we’re going to build a wall? Absolutely!!! Why not? Etc etc etc. not sure you get that.

    Trump’s is asking the american voter to decide whether Latino and Muslim citizens are real Americans. He is suggesting that they aren’t, that they should be feared, and it is his job to protect us from them. If he wins the election, he will have his answer.

    That’s what a vote for Trump means. Not sure you get that.

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