It doesn’t matter who you support for President of the United States. Sane, law-abiding Americans should condemn the violence that takes place at many of Donald Trump’s campaign rallies. If Hillary Clinton were smart, she’d help to put an end to them.
Decency calls for it, but this is a much deeper issue than protecting the police officers and people participating in these events. It’s more than the insane costs for cleanup that taxpayers are forced to fork over. It’s about leadership. Is Clinton enough of a leader to be able to call off the violent protesters?
Chances are, she doesn’t want to find out, but this is a mistake. She could score some points in the leadership column, an area where she’s sorely lacking, by asking for civility and actually getting it. Doing so would demonstrate a steady hand as well as an authoritative posture.
Moreover, these protests are helping Trump. Every time there’s violence or idiocy that takes place at his events, he picks up more sympathy votes. Considering how often Trump has been recorded egging on violence, this would allow her to present a stark contrast to her antagonist.
Protests can and should occur, but they should remain civil. Free speech should never be used as an excuse to potentially hurt others. Clinton can do something about it. Will she?
Trump should, of course, do the same thing by reining in his supporters who are often equally violent.
As a card-carrying member of the #NeverTrumpOrHillary team that’s praying for an alternative, I’m not offering this advice to benefit either candidate even though they each have an opportunity to score points from it. I’m against violence in this regard and there’s always a chance that things could turn deadly. This is America, not a third world country (yet).
As Erick Erickson wrote on The Resurgent:
Hillary Clinton and, frankly, Bernie Sanders need to forcefully condemn this behavior just as they demanded Donald Trump denounce his supporters’ behavior months ago.