While anti-Trump rhetoric should be part of the open debate of a campaign season, you have to wonder how certain people have come to believe violence is acceptable.
What is it about anti-Trump rhetoric that is different from anti-Clinton or anti-Sanders rhetoric? I ask because I have seen no news reports that Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders have faced anything like this:
Now it is popular to blame Donald Trump for the violence of anti-Trump protestors. In fact, sometimes the media reports that even other Republicans blame Trump for the violence against him. According to the media (if they were being accurate) even Ted Cruz stooped to this tactic:
We can be pretty sure that people who later got violent in New Mexico and then in California were not discouraged from such action when they heard Donald Trump blamed for the violent attacks on him at his rallies.
Beyond that, the media has constantly reported like it was a non-disputed fact that Trump makes racist statements. Things Trump says about illegal immigrants have been twisted and portrayed as remarks about all Latinos. On this made-up pretext, Donald Trump’s rallies are treated as a kind of Nazi movement.
This stuff is in the air. Trump is blamed rather than the people who actually committed violent acts, and Trump is portrayed as a “Hitler.” Basically, the word is out that it is open season on Trump.
How do you think the media would respond if Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders held rallies that were attacked in this way? I doubt very much that anyone would blame them for the actions of the attackers.
The common reasoning seems to be that, because only Trump rallies get violent opposition, there must be something wrong with Trump. But if the media is treating Trump like he is a legitimate target of violence—as if the First Amendment does not really apply to him—then you don’t need to look elsewhere to explain the attacks.