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:


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:

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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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