In San Jose, California, last night, anti-Trump protestors went on another violent rampage. A man was assaulted, others were punched, Trump supporters were pelted with eggs, cars were smashed, and clashes broke out with the police.
The Mayor of San Jose decided not to blame the violence on the people doing the violence. He blamed Donald Trump.
‘At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,’ said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
What Liccardo is doing here is tacitly justifying the people beating up Trump supporters. They have been incited, he is saying. Because Donald Trump has said offensive things about Mexicans and others, the violence against his supporters is understandable.
This is outrageous. It is part of a worrying turn in American politics, as I discussed earlier after an anti-Trump mob shut down a Trump rally in Chicago.
Look at the videos and tell me where the incitement is. Thugs are tormenting and then assaulting Donald Trump fans. And rather than condemn them, the local mayor chooses to denounce Donald Trump.
Such outrages energise the Trump campaign. Trump supporters feel that they are being intimidated, and they are right. This fuels a growing sense of democratic injustice, and stokes the American victimhood complex that Trump so skilfully exploits. It makes a white Trump fanboy feel like the 21st century equivalent of Rosa Parks.
The truth is, Donald Trump has played with fire, such as the time he threatened to unleash his fans on Bernie Sanders fans.
But to blame Trump when a bunch of hooligans are out on streets beating up his supporters is wrong and idiotic.
It will be interesting to see how Hillary Clinton responds. Will she ignore the latest violence? Will she condemn it unequivocally? Or will she echo Liccardo and say that Donald Trump is responsible?