While journalism and intelligent commentary are nearly dead on cable news these days, what with each station trying to milk as much ratings gold from the dumpster fire that is Donald Trump’s candidacy, there are still a handful of people attempting to engage in thoughtful discourse. One of those media figures is MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who has somehow stayed above the fray while her network has basically devolved into a Trump cheerleading squad, hoping his run for the White House will bring them profits as ratings increase.
On Friday night, Maddow discussed in detail Trump’s rhetoric at his rallies, and how he has increasingly made his supporters know it was OK to physically attack protesters and opponents. Essentially, he has dehumanized and ‘othered’ those who have protested his rallies, while simultaneously telling rally-goers that he’d pay their legal bills or come to their defense if they assaulted.
While a Chicago Trump rally was postponed by the GOP frontrunner because he said he was concerned about security due to thousands of protesters surrounding the arena, Maddow talked about how we had arrived at this point. After playing a clip of Trump talking to her colleague Chris Matthews, Maddow made the following observation:
“This is a classic strongman political tactic that we are used to seeing in other countries but not our own. Certainly not in the last 50 years or so, in which political events are generated to bring violence at the edges into the center. So that violence at these events, which may start organically, is in effect spot lit and encouraged to the point where it becomes something that is legitimately out of control of anyone. And then the spectacle of political violence is itself seen as something that is a problem that needs to be solved by this strongman character who incited the initial event in the first place.
It’s political science in way. It’s not something that we’re used to seeing in American politics. But trying to gin up political violence for its electoral utility is inarguably what we are seeing here. I know the Trump campaign will not say that is what they’re doing. But when you look at the way that Mr. Trump has been talking about the organic existence of both protesters against him and violence toward those protesters at his event, when you look at the way that he has encouraged it in an escalating way leading to this inevitable event tonight in Chicago, I think that it is impossible to say that this is an accident.”
Below is video, courtesy of MSNBC:
Later on in her program, she devoted a segment to the way Trump has played on his supporters’ bigotry and hatred for others to create a violent environment at his rallies. Once again, she pointed out none of this was by accident while also highlighting how he’s marginalized and ridiculed those protesting him, telling his supporters that they are what’s wrong with America and that they are bad people.
The segment, a must-watch, gave a point-by-point accounting of how we got to the Chicago rally, culminating with his appearance in St. Louis that led to dozens of arrests and featured him ratcheting his rhetoric regarding demonstrators, claiming that protesters needed to be more fearful of violence.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC: