March 12, 2016

The Trump Rally in Chicago

20090518 Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago
Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago
I will not to pretend to be aware of everything that transpired around Donald Trump's planned rally in Chicago last night. Details are fuzzy and still emerging. Thus, I will keep these comments brief and to the point.

If the goal of those protesting the rally was to prevent it from taking place, I believe they were mistaken and that their efforts will likely result in an increase in support for Trump. Regardless of what you or I might think of Trump, he should be allowed to hold scheduled rallies if he wants to do so.

But what if the protestors were not seeking to shut down the rally but were merely seeking to express their opposition to Trump? I find this unlikely; however, in this case, I do support their right to do so. Just as Trump must have the right to express himself, the protestors must have the same right.

It remains possible that Trump could win the Republican party's nomination for president. If this happens, I think we should want him to give as many speeches and rallies as possible. How else is the voting public going to know who he is and what he stands for? Anyone who opposes Trump should want to hear as much as possible from him. His views need to be out in the open where they can be evaluated, criticized, and rebutted by those opposed to them.

My concern is that even the subtle hint of something that looks like an effort to silence Trump is likely to make him stronger and arouse his base even more than they are currently aroused. Those opposed to Trump are falling into a trap by providing fuel for the narrative behind which his supporters have been rallying.

Attempting to shut down the expression of viewpoints with which we disagree is not the solution and is likely to make the problem worse. Instead, we should seek to encourage the expression of views we find odious so they can be dealt with openly and exposed to reason.