Donald Trump has half a point about riots

As Donald Trump looks increasingly likely to win the Republican nomination outright, members of the Republican establishment are starting to make louder noises about the increasing likelihood of a contested convention.

Put another way, the folks who run the show may need to “save” the party from this fascist interloper who has dominated nominating contests by saying things that lots and lots of Republican voters agree with.

As one Republican official explained earlier this week, the party decides its nominee; not the voters. From the Hill:

A member of the Republican National Committee’s Rules Committee said Wednesday that the party will decide who the GOP nominee will be, not the voters.

“The media has created the perception that the voters will decide the nomination,” Curly Haugland said in an interview with CNBC. “That’s the conflict here.”

“The political parties choose their nominees, not the general public, contrary to popular belief,” he added.

Donald Trump has responded to this possibility with — what else? — the threat of physical violence. As he said yesterday, “I think you’d have riots” if he didn’t emerge from the Republican convention as the nominee despite winning the most delegates.

As one might have imagined, this led his confabulating supporters to come up with reasons why riots are Actually Fine if they are carried out on behalf of Francisco Trumpo:

Yep, those riots were bad, but Trump’s riots will be elegant, classy and powerful. I wonder what the difference is.

Actually, no I don’t:

baltimore

The thing is, Trump does have half a point here: Take Trump out of the equation, and it still isn’t crazy to expect the supporters of a given candidate to be mad as hell if that candidate doesn’t win after receiving the most votes. Trump certainly isn’t helping anything by making this explicit — when a candidate says x, their supporters generally hear x plus much worse — but he isn’t wrong as far as the reality of political protest is concerned:

View post on imgur.com

That said, come on. The same conservatives who have spent the last couple of years dismissing the Black Lives Matter movement as nothing more than a band of racist thugs are gearing up to do some actual racist thuggery if they don’t get their way?

They may be about to get screwed over, but they’ll get no sympathy from me.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • dcinsider

    Obviously, since they are party rules.

  • Bobby D. Gee

    These rules are not bound by law.

  • goulo

    Whereas there’s no problem with using Trump + Spanish reference = fascist? If one is bad, why isn’t the other?

  • Ednahilda

    “Francisco Trumpo”.

    Speaking as a German now living in the U.S., thank you for not using the Trump + German reference = Nazi, which happens all the time on these forums. ‘German’ is not synonymous with ‘Nazi’.
    Sorry to sound a little testy about this.

  • slacker42

    America is a Republic not a democracy, one would think a republican like Adolf Trump should know that. Trump’s theme song should be “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want to” – Leslie Gore

  • dcinsider

    I had to Google Morlock.

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  • 2karmanot

    Protest—bring a sign Riot—-bring a knife and a rock

  • 2karmanot

    An excellent synopsis of the Morlock mentality.

  • gratuitous

    This is it: If Trump goes to the Convention with fewer than 1,237 pledged delegates, the rules as they now stand say he doesn’t automatically get the party’s nomination. Look over carefully what Trump said, and he’s saying that if he gets to the Convention with the most delegates – and here’s the important part – even if it’s a plurality and not a majority, he has basically ordered his partisans to riot.

    As for will they or won’t they riot, and how much damage could they cause if they do, that’s not something I’m willing to chance. The big secret behind all the national security razzmatazz is that it doesn’t take all that much, really, to bring down the local power grid, poison a city’s water, or burn down a building. Any or all of which can cause a major disruption and loss of life, which is a genuinely stupid thing to do in the name of politics, but it’s consistent with today’s Republicans.

  • Phil in FLL

    The violent activity of the proto-fascists that are drawn to Trump is always directly at federal property of facilities. That has been the case with the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the more recent Oregon “y’all Qaeda” takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Violent attacks by Trump supporters this summer would almost certainly be directed at federal property and facilities in Cleveland. I hope those federal facilities are ready. If they aren’t, would someone kindly let them know. ;)

  • Gerald Parks

    Hey ….how is this any different than GOP/Republican voter suppression of voters in the States they govern?

    They choose their voters and not the other way around!

    Yet ANOTHER stellar example of GOP/Governance in 21st Century America!

    Remember Bush v Gore?

  • Zangetsu zangetsu

    How bad can it be? Oregon YallQaeda bad.

  • Zangetsu zangetsu

    Horrible, horrible thing when the GOP leadership hides behind technical maneuvers to ignore the popular vote. Unprecedented.

    People have every right to be upset if Garland is not confirmed for the Supreme Court.

  • dcinsider

    They are more likely to be true believers than you may realize. However, you can run for delegate and get on the ballot as a delegate for a candidate and NOT be a real supporter. It depends on the state party rules generally. So it’s very tough to say that Trump delegates are all solid Trump supporters, but you can assume that a super-majority of candidate pledged delegates are hard core supporters.

    This is what makes people nervous about the “brokered” convention because there are a number of “pledged” delegates who might switch their vote on a second ballot.

    In most circumstances, however, a pledged delegate MUST vote for the candidate to whom they pledged on the first ballot. That;s why if Trump is short some delegates on the first ballot, my guess is he WILL NOT be the nominee. However, it could take multiple ballots to get a nominee.

    I hope that explains it a bit. There are also other rules in play that can affect this, and the party can change the rules before the voting. So it could get even more complicated.

    They thing to remember is voters don’t pick the nominee, the delegates do.

  • Zorba

    In a 1966 interview with Mike Wallace, Dr. King said:
    I contend that the cry of “black power” is, at bottom, a reaction to
    the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to
    make justice a reality for the Negro. I think that we’ve got to see that
    a riot is the language of the unheard.

  • King said something along the lines of “a riot is the language of the unheard”

  • emjayay

    I may just not exactly understand this stuff, but aren’t convention delegates local party officials and others like that? They are pledged to the candidate that won their district or state or whatever, but are not necessarily partisans for that person. So it’s not like there will be an area full of Trumpsters like at his rallies. Or is it?

  • We have to maintain the pretense that we’re a Democracy, or the rabble may be roused.

  • Seriously – we live in an oligarchy anyway so why not just get rid of the few remaining illusions.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    If the parties decide who will be the nominee, why should we bother with primaries and caucuses?

  • How bad can a few overweight near-sighted rednecks be? enough to kill people and start more violence and riots.

  • dcinsider

    Let’s not forget that there is a process and rules in place. You must achieve 1,237 delegates to be nominated on the first ballot. That is not 1,236. No one is “entitled” to the nomination because they got the most votes, that is not how it works. The fact that Trump supporters are far too stupid to understand the difference is not relevant.

    Who cares if they riot? Seriously, how bad can a few overweight, near-sighted rednecks be? The vermin that have crawled out of their holes to support The Donald are fundamentally lazy. They may attend a rally, beat up a few people of color now and then, and the occasional gay, but for the most part they are unremarkable losers.

    They could not organize a good riot if their lives depended on it.

    When Trump is denied the nomination – and make no mistake about it, he WILL be denied the nomination – many of his supporters will walk out of the convention. Some will be outside, and no doubt there will be police. But that will be the end of it. They are simply too dim to create anything much more than an exaggerated hissy fit.

  • hiker_sf

    Leaving aside what Trump said, most people don’t start out thinking that a riot is going to be their tactic of choice. No, riots are most often a response to an injustice when a process for remedy isn’t obvious or doesn’t exist.

    It would piss me off if I were a Trump supporter and he didn’t get the nomination because of party manipulation and I sure as hell would be protesting and it could end up being a riot.

    The Boston Tea Party was kind of a riot.

  • There’s a world of difference between protests and riots. The first is lawfully-protected free speech and the right to assemble to protest grievances, intended to persuade and to promote change. The second is unlawful violence, using threats of destruction and bodily harm in order to extort a desired outcome.

    I suspect Mr. Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr could put it much better than I could though.

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