A lot of the political talk in the last few days has centered around the violence that seems to be taking place almost every time and everywhere there is a Donald Trump rally. Trump of course has blamed the problem on protesters, who he claims have been sent by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.
Trump has been given multiple opportunities to condemn the violence and to offer to tone down his rhetoric, which many believe is inspiring his supporters to attack protesters. On March 13 he told Chris Wallace of Fox News that he doesn’t see a problem with what he is saying, because he claims that “nobody has been hurt” at his rallies.
Now Rachel Maddow is offering her take on why Trump is playing deaf, dumb and blind to what is going on in the crowds that show up to cheer for him. She says it’s because Trump loves the violence.
On the March 14 edition of her MSNBC show, Maddow opened a segment on Trump with this statement:
I hereby declare that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump likes it when there is disruptive protest and violence at his rallies.
How does she know that? Because Trump himself says so. She then plays a montage of Trump on the campaign trail, literally encouraging violence from his supporters against protesters, and even in some cases threatening to get in on the action himself. Instead of trying to calm the crowd, Trump actually says that his rallies are “the most fun.”
At one point in the montage, Trump makes this statement:
But I have to say, honestly, seriously, this is more exciting than having like a speech.
No doubt that’s true for both Trump and his supporters. For the supporters because they seem to love the professional wrestling atmosphere. For Trump because there is less time during which he actually has to say anything. If he were to spend his whole time talking during a rally, those listening would very quickly discover that there is no substance behind anything he says.
Maddow says that Trump is actually selling the violence at his rallies as part of the reason to come to one. “You might see somebody get beat up!” she says.
It’s hard to disagree with Maddow’s assessment of what is going on:
Whatever it is that people are protesting at Donald Trump events… the act of physically throwing people out of venues in which he is speaking is part of the show he is marketing to audiences all over the country.
And the voters are eating it up. Maddow ends the segment by showing the results of a Florida poll. That poll asked Florida Republicans whether the threat of violence that forced the cancellation of Trump’s Chicago rally, and his response to it, would make them more likely or less likely to support him. Only 11 percent said they would be less likely to vote for Trump. Sixty-six percent said it didn’t matter to them, and almost one-fourth, 22 percent, said they would now be more likely to vote for Trump.
If you didn’t think before that Trump’s campaign was GOP meets WWE, what do you think now?
Here’s Rachel Maddow’s commentary, via MSNBC:
Featured image via MSNBC screen capture