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December 16, 2015 03:30 PM UTC

Donald Trump: Are You Frightened Yet?

  • by: Colorado Pols
Donald Trump.
Donald Trump.

Discussion continues to swirl about a pre-debate rally for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in Las Vegas Monday, where an ugly demonstration of the lowest common denominator of contemporary American politics played out for all to see–Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins:

A zealous chorus of boos filled the room, while the two protesters brandished a homemade poster (“NO HATE. YOU’RE FIRED.”) and began shouting over the din. Demonstrations of this sort are fairly common in presidential campaigns, and the brigade of meaty security guards on duty had strategically positioned themselves throughout the crowd so as to be able to swiftly and discreetly remove any troublemakers.

But it quickly became clear Monday night that the protesters had no interest in a quiet extraction — nor, for that matter, did Trump.

By the time security swooped in, several amped-up Trump supporters had already encircled the protesters — booing, and chanting, and slowly closing in — while a crush of smartphone-wielding media scrambled to capture footage of the clash. The guards managed to remove one protester, but the other resisted, stiffening his limbs and screaming about the First Amendment as they tried to haul him toward the exits. When he toppled to the floor, a horde of rallygoers assembled to hurl insults and threats at him.

“Light the motherfucker on fire!” one Trump supporter yelled…

As NBC News reports, that may not have been the worst of it:

A large middle aged man shouted, “Sieg heil!” — a Nazi Germany-era salute — as the protester was taken away. [Pols emphasis] The man, whose motives were not clear, was far enough from the stage that it was unlikely Trump heard the remark.

The man who was removed as remarks above were shouted, Ender Austin III, told Buzzfeed News he was upset about Trump’s remarks towards Muslims, a group the candidate has proposed temporarily barring from entering the country. He said he was not arrested after being taken from the venue and placed in police custody.

“He’s a Muslim!” another man in a glittering black suit shouted as another protester was removed. “He’s a Muslim!”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) STILL won't diss the Donald?
Rep. Mike Coffman STILL won’t diss the Donald?

In the early days of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he was broadly written off as a sideshow by Very Serious People™ in both parties. Nobody thought that Trump would build the lead he has built in GOP primary polls, and nobody thought that lead would survive the increased scrutiny Trump would receive as the campaign progressed.

These assumptions have all been proven wrong. As of now, Trump has sustained and even grown his commanding lead in GOP primary polls after a serious of debates that was supposed to expose his lack of qualifications. Fact-checkers race to debunk Trump’s every word, but it doesn’t matter–the voters supporting him simply don’t care about the facts. Every statement from Trump that should be politically career-ending instead further endears him to what may be a nontransferable base of support.

As Trump continues what has morphed from a running joke into a truly frightening movement with parallels (see above) to some of the darkest periods in history, the inability of some Republicans–not all but a significant number–to condemn his demagogic rise to prominence is standing out in increasingly harsh relief. In Colorado, by far in the worst position to answer questions about Trump is Rep. Mike Coffman, who catastrophically blew his chance to stand up to Trump in an interview with Roll Call last week. Like smarter Republicans, Coffman could have strongly condemned Trump, and in so doing burnished his “post-partisan” campaign image.

But for whatever reason, Coffman couldn’t do it. And Trump’s crazy train rolls on toward…something very bad.


6 thoughts on “Donald Trump: Are You Frightened Yet?

  1. Getting away from Godwin: I wonder if this is what Roman citizens felt like as the empire went into decline? Trump seems like a man right at home as civilization comes crashing down.

    1. Depends on which part of the Roman Empire they lived in. Those in Constantinople (now Istanbul) generally prospered until the sack of the city in 1204 CE by the 4th Crusade. Recall with me that Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology to the Patriarchs of the Orthodox Church in 2004, the 800th anniversary of the sack of the city, for what the Crusaders did.

      The sack also removed the barrier to easy Muslim entrance to southeastern Europe that had been in place for 500 years. One could say, even back then, that some Christians eat their own. 

        1. Love that song. Don't understand it at all, but love it. Here's my favorite version:



          So if we're talking decline of the Roman Empire, where's Nero and his fiddle?

          Ancient history – not my strongest area, but y'all have at it.


          1. The fall was pretty slow motion and came long after Nero. That legend refers to a particularly nasty case of Rome burning (fires were a constant danger), not the fall of the Empire. By the end the Emperors hadn't even been from Rome or shared ethnicity, much less blood, with the earlier Emperors for ages. Went out with more of a whimper than a bang after a long descent. 

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