It's hard to have anything other than mixed feelings about the success of protesters in Chicago and St. Louis in shutting down Trump rallies. In one column we have all the usual arguments about how violence is never the answer, Trump has a right to express himself, etc and etc. In the other, it's refreshing to see that some people correctly perceive that this is something much different than the ordinary Republican presidential campaign. This is the coming together of the worst that American society has to offer, of people who think violence literally is the answer to everything and whose conception of ideology and beliefs is to keep current a lengthy list of things they hate.
To watch these protests escalate and grow, though, is to have the increasingly uneasy feeling that none of this will end well, and I don't mean it will end with Trump getting elected. Call me alarmist, but it feels like only a matter of time until someone gets shot.
I have a student who announced in class his intention to go to the anti-Trump rally in Chicago. I told him to be careful, and although the line produced a mild giggle from the class I very much meant it. Trump supporters are people who think George Zimmerman is a hero and who long to someday get their own chance to shoot a black person. How many violent, stupid, blind-with-rage gun enthusiasts can gather in one place to be egged on by their idiot king before a protester shoves one of them who immediately thinks, "This is the big moment I've been waiting for"?
Remember, these are people who believe with all their might that carrying a concealed handgun makes them safe, and that they possess the judgment to know when and how to use it appropriately. These are wannabe vigilantes, every one of them, waiting for an opportunity to make their own Rambo fantasies a reality. When people interrupt Trump during rallies he has the extremely disconcerting habit, as we would expect of someone with a brain the size of a peanut and an aversion to thinking before he says anything, of yelling out nonspecific commands like "Get 'em out of here!" to no one in particular, which makes every individual member of his audience think, "Time for me to be the hero!" in a roomful of people who consider punching a teenage black girl a heroic act.
A responsible person might tell the crowd to relax because security is going to handle the situation, or direct any comments to the police present. This is why flight attendants get on the intercom when a passenger is sick and say "Excuse me, is there a doctor on this flight?" instead of "Oh shit, somebody help this guy!"
None of this is surprising as the culmination of eight long years of "Take America back" rhetoric, the answer to the question "From whom?" remaining unspoken but easy enough to derive by implication – from the blacks, the Latinos, the homos, the bitches, the Jews, the librul media, the unions (???), the ivory tower academics, and everyone and anyone else who aspires to be something other than a meatheaded, bigoted loser pretending that the reason they never accomplished anything with their lives is that racial and cultural Others usurped what was rightfully theirs.
I'm hardly the first person to suggest that this is not going to end well, but I'll add myself to the chorus nonetheless. If you thought Obama derangement was bad, wait until you see the meltdown these people have when Trump gets blown out in November. We'll be living among millions of vigilantes forced to endure yet another humiliation at the hands of people smarter than them, staring at their guns and wondering what else they can do to Take Their Country Back.