Fringe Supporters Need to Stop the Violence and Vandelism

*Just to be clear, I know and love Trump supporters. This is about fringe supporters that are carrying out violence and vandalism.

american-flag-795306__180The extreme rhetoric against minorities and women was not a campaign device to the racist and hateful people who listened to it, felt empowered by it and now have been unleashed in all their ugliness on others in our nation. He can say now that it was only a campaign device, his surrogates can say all politicians promise more than they deliver, but the evil genie is out of the bottle, the Pandora’s box is open, and people who don’t look like him are reaping pain, fear and anxiety.

It’s not right. And before you say, well, violent protests aren’t right either, that’s true! *Peaceful* protest is the American way. But this is wrong, throwing bleach on people at rest stops is wrong, swastika graffiti is wrong, grabbing women passing by and justifying it by what he says he got away with is wrong, ripping hijabs off women is wrong, telling reporters they are going to be lynched is wrong, telling citizens they are going to be deported and don’t belong here is wrong.

When extremist so-called Islamic terrorists attack, and everyday Muslims are asked to speak out and condemn them? They do that now. And so when evil members of your party do violence and vandalism and threaten in the President-elect’s name? All Republicans should be speaking out, condemning, turning them in to the authorities, and seeking out those people to stop them. That needs to be the American Way, too, now.

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James Carter

James Carter has a real passion for online "stuff", is an avid WordPress fan and user, and gets great satisfaction out of helping others. -- so in his spare time, he's busy doing community service with his church, spending time with family and friends while creating post for this blog.

2 Comments:

  1. What some of these people are doing to harass one another is inexcusable. Equally important, however, is what faculty is doing to harness a “teachable moment”. The First Amendment protects even those with views and beliefs we find repugnant. When it crosses the line into a crime, that’s another story.

    Even before this controversial election really heated up we were seeing protests all over the country against faculty perceived to be too lenient toward undesirable forms of expression. While those who express bigoted views don’t deserve our personal respect they are entitled to “think differently” under the laws of our country. Increasingly, however, tolerance only extends to those who fall within social norms. This ignores the fact that in a free society the benefit that affords us the right NOT to agree with “lunatics” and “haters” also protects those with whom we vehemently disagree from the pressure we place upon them to conform with accepted values/beliefs. Of those, the only kind the law can do something about: those who cross the line not merely into highly offensive behavior but criminal mischief.

    By all appearances the quality of education has gone down if only because tolerance levels should reflect more, not less, diversity of thought/opinion. Where this begins to break down is where critics of speech-abridging legislation said it would many years ago when “hate speech” became criminalized. Now we expect authorities on college campuses, government and elsewhere to arbitrate more and more of our disputes because we’ve invited the law to take a stance on some, but not all, hate speech. Beyond being questionable from a First Amendment standpoint, it’s just not humanly possible to stamp out all the hate. Part of growing up is in learning that marginalizing and ignoring those with whom we disagree isn’t an endorsement — it’s a strategy to cope with an unavoidable downside of living in a free society.

    I read an article from July 4 this year in which it was said that almost half of college grads polled failed to identify the checks & balances among other aspects of American government/civics. The younger the person polled, the more likely they were to get questions wrong about how American government works. This helps explain why the fear is so profound in the wake of Trump’s election. The fear of autocratic, authoritarian rule is very, very real. Ill-informed Trump supporters are emboldened to think that a nationalistic, minority-despising policy will be sanctioned by the entire U.S. government under a President Trump and equally-misguided Trump protestors are short enough on the facts to take such individuals at face value when, at best, they should be laughed at (or ignored).

    Faculty at all levels of the educational system in this country must convey that there is, for better or for worse, a blunting effect on any presidential agenda, good or bad, thanks to the separation of powers and the wisdom to our Founder’s methods of checks and balances. The fact that this is lost on so many people helps explain the sheer level of fear that exists in the wake of this election. In the long run, fear feeds into mob mentalities and group think errors. For this great, grand experiment in Democracy to succeed and ultimately thrive for the next 100 years — let alone the next four! — cooler heads must prevail. But it seems unlikely that a calmer more measured response will be possible among those who either do not support or do not understand the First Amendment and American civics on the whole. Peaceable protest has a place and is itself a right, not merely a privilege. But there’s more to understanding what’s at stake than taking to the streets. No amount of government or faculty intervention can force an accepted conformity on those who refuse to fall in line. And it’s just as much a lesson in Democracy to appreciate this — as it is to protest it.

    • Violence is the greatest threat to free and fair elections in new and emerging democracies. Perhaps a useful distinction should be made between violence aimed at disrupting an election by those who have no interest in a particular election taking place, and election violence triggered by the rivalry between contesting political parties and or candidates. In the former, the might of the national security services can be mobilized against the obstructionists. Good local surveillance by citizens and community-based organizations (CBOs) can help to prevent such mischief from taking root by reporting suspicious behaviour in the neighbourhood in a timely manner.

      Violence instigated or openly encouraged by candidates or political party functionaries can be checked or controlled by a number of measures, such as codes of conduct for political parties and their supporters backed by strong sanctions. Intensive voter/civic education programmes with respect to election campaigns and polling should be undertaken on a timely basis. Special attention should be given to preparing political parties and candidate for election losses.

      A prominent role should be reserved for community-based organizations which are interested in election conflict prevention locally. Electoral management bodies also have a role to play with respect to the establishment of structures for stakeholders, particularly political parties and civil society organizations, within which they can discuss preventive measures against election violence.

      The electoral legislative scheme should pronounce itself clearly and firmly by way of stiff penalties for election violence.

      There should be a transparent regime for the speedy redress of threats of violence and of all types of election disputes.

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