trump rally
© Chicago Tribune
A Trump supporter makes her allegiance known, in more ways than one.
I love this country. Not for what it's become, of course - a fascist police state with a rabidity and penchant for lashing out that can only be compared to the Third Reich. No, that's definitely my least favorite part about it. What I love is what it is conceptualized as, and what it ostensibly stands for: freedom, democracy, opportunity, a melting pot of cultures and civilizations.

Growing up, studying the history book version of America inspired me. Granted, we glazed over the Native American holocaust and lionized slave owners and oligarchs, but at the core there was an American mythos worth believing in: the right to be secure in our persons and property, the freedom to believe in and practice whatever religion we wanted, a 'free market' in which we could survive, thrive and prosper. In this America, we had the right to defend ourselves from violence, and to speak our minds when we thought there was something worth speaking about.

Sadly, that America doesn't exist, and worse - I doubt it ever did. Since its inception, America has been controlled by the money men. Those who have the most wealth also have the most power. They control and influence public opinion because they have the ability to talk louder than anyone else. They own the media. They buy politicians and legislation. Laws are selectively enforced based on whether or not the populace is aware that they've been violated, and even then this 'elite' usually get away with it. Bribery and corruption are nothing new - in fact, Citizens United legalized it to a whole new level by proclaiming that a corporation's ability to spend money on political campaigns could not be impugned because to do so is considered a 'violation of free speech' because, as everyone knows, corporations are the most important and privileged of all 'people'.

Free speech. It's an interesting concept. As citizens in the US of A, we are guaranteed a right to free speech under the First Amendment to the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That's the text from the document itself. This one sentence says we can believe whichever faith we choose and practice that faith, we can say whatever we want, put that speech into writing, and gather - peacefully - and protest when we feel the government is misbehaving. It's probably the most amazing thing about this country - that and democracy, which I'll get to soon.

Citizens United robbed us of that right by equating it with the ability to spend money. I guess free speech isn't so free. It costs dollars and cents if you want your voice to be heard. But that was never the intention of the amendment, and that is where the Supreme Court dropped the ball. Granted, we don't know under whose sway the justices were, if their decision was made honorably, or with undue influence from powerful parties. In this day and age, undue influence is all too common - just look at lobbying and how profitable it is.

Now, in the ghastly personage of Donald Trump, we have a demagogue in the likeness of Hitler, and I'm not exaggerating on that point. Don't take my word for it, here's a clip of Hitler addressing the Nazi party:


Now compare with this analysis of the vehemence, violent rhetoric at Donald Trump rallies. Rachel Maddow captures and explicates how Trump has encouraged it each step of the way:


trump, demagogue
Notice the similarities? Vehemence, over-generalization, casting the blame out from the self and demanding unquestioning allegiance from supporters. Trump is actually a lot less eloquent and his language is much more simplistic. Hitler was much more dangerous in that his logic sounded reasonable and in line with his culture's value system. Trump, on the other hand, openly declares that protesting - a core American value - deserves a violent response. Over and over again, dissenters are decried as criminals deserving of violence.

'You see, folks, these people are the problem. They're mama's boys, they're jobless, they're ruining our country....' This is demagoguery, pure and simple - the definition, in fact. And that brings me to psychopathy.

Among their other negative traits, psychopaths are charmers, hucksters, if you will. One of their most dangerous attributes is that they project their own intentions and actions onto others, especially their victims. This serves a dual purpose: not only does it serve as a cover for their real nature and intentions, but it allows them to inflame and misdirect the anger of the people onto an easy target, one that has usually been well-prepared in advance.

Those who remain unfooled by this ploy however, can easily spot the truth behind the mask. Here's a few quotes from Trump about Mexicans. If we assume that, in most of his vitriol directed at others, Trump is projecting, it get's scary. According to Trump, Mexicans are rapists and killers. Is he projecting? Consider this tweet from the little-fingered man:

According to Trump, sexual assault is a natural consequence of putting men and women together. That's incredibly suggestive. Trump seems to think that sexual assault is 'to be expected' when men and women are in close proximity. His ex-wife appeared to agree with this assessment when she said that Trump's idea of sex made her feel violated, as if she'd been raped:
After a painful scalp reduction surgery to remove a bald spot in 1989, Donald Trump confronted his then-wife, who had previously used the same plastic surgeon.

"Your fucking doctor has ruined me!" Trump cried.

What followed was a "violent assault," according to Lost Tycoon. Donald held back Ivana's arms and began to pull out fistfuls of hair from her scalp, as if to mirror the pain he felt from his own operation. He tore off her clothes and unzipped his pants.

"Then he jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified... It is a violent assault," Hurt writes. "According to versions she repeats to some of her closest confidantes, 'he raped me.'"

Following the incident, Ivana ran upstairs, hid behind a locked door, and remained there "crying for the rest of night." When she returned to the master bedroom in the morning, he was there.

"As she looks in horror at the ripped-out hair scattered all over the bed, he glares at her and asks with menacing casualness: 'Does it hurt?'" Hurt writes.
Sound's like rape to me. But Trump's lawyer recently defended his boss against the allegation by saying, "you cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law." At the time of the assault and in New York where it took place, marital rape had been a crime since 1984. That kind of cruelty, and delight in same, is also characteristic of the psychopath, by the way.
Donald and Ivana Trump

Presidential material: marital rapist Donald with his unfortunate wife Ivana
But I digress. Getting back to free speech, I want to congratulate the city of Chicago on shutting down one of Trump's rallies. To be clear, I don't condone violence. Unfortunately, it must be used occasionally as a purely defensive measure, but even then, I would hope that the defender is trained enough to inflict as little damage as possible to stop the assault. You'll be hearing a lot on the media insinuating that protesters are violent, that they are unruly, and that they deserve to be punished. Do Not Believe It.

In the picture I chose for the headline image for this article, you see a woman clearly performing the Nazi salute. You can also see a man to her left with a baffled look on his face. That man wrote about his experience.
As we are leaving, Trump protesters form small sections, small channels where Trump supporters can pass through to exit (a kindness which isn't quite afforded in the inverse when ya know, people get sucker punched being forced out of Trump rallies).

As people are walking out we're saying things like "Bye racists, you lost. Please just go home now." because many are leaving with shoves and shoulder checks, begrudgingly, but most with pent up fury.

The woman pictured with me and what looks to be her husband we're stragglers in the pack, and started responding to people's jeers. Some guy ripped a sign out of the man's hands and another man leapt out of nowhere, encouraging everyone around to respect them and let them leave (again, sometimes America is amazing).

This woman is a human being and although I don't share her views, I start yelling "I will respect my elders. Please. Leave." and a few other great folks and I start to clear the path. I walk right up to her and say "Ma'am we have listened to you. We understand this is all a little wild but we have cleared a path for you to leave *my right hand was constantly swinging in motion, showing her the path out we made for her, as shown in the photo*"

She goes, and I quote "Go? Back in my day, you know what we did.."

Bam. Heil Hitler.

[...] I have never experienced anything like tonight. To see America rise up for a man who hates so much of it, then for him to get checked so wonderfully by a city I love so much, and then for his followers to scream and cackle to the bitter end.

So many fights were stopped. So many people protected others instead of encouraging mayhem. Don't believe the hype: [we] protesters only stoked a fire that was born in these people long before they had Trump to personify it.
In that moment, and from this man's testimony, we're seeing a glimpse of the truth of the situation. We may have a right to free speech, but it isn't equal. Donald Trump may have that right - but so does the rest of this nation. Is Trump's speech really 'free' when his speeches are paid for? I'd take it a step further: if you're encouraging hate and violence using blatant lies, then you're using your words in a criminal fashion, and thus you should lose that right. At the very least, you should be immediately disqualified for the highest office in the land. Those with conscience should stand up and peacefully, freely speak in opposition to such hate. This is what we saw in Chicago, and what every protester who attends a Trump rally is doing - thank God.

Free speech is the right of these individuals to peacefully assemble and redress the unfair advantage that this man and the rest of the ultra-wealthy elite have which allows them to speak louder than the rest of us. They have their Fox News, CNN, NY Times and Washington Post. They have their politicians, on whom they spend untold billions, money which would be better spent on educating, feeding, and housing those members of our society most in need. 'Nah... screw that, free speech y'all. It's their right!' When you're spending billions of dollars, it ain't free, folks, and it shouldn't be protected as if it were. How is that democratic? If you can buy votes, buy offices, buy judges and verdicts, and justify your expenditures by using the media to make it all sound rational - that's not democracy, it's fascism. It's oligarchy, or better said, it's pathocracy: rule by a few, psychopathic individuals at the expense of everyone else.

If we really want to make America great, awareness of the truth is one of the keys. We need to realign our legal and moral compass with that of the ideological mythos of the America that we claim to be. We need to stop letting these clearly insane individuals pollute the minds of our brothers, sisters and children. How dare they fleece us for billions and trillions and then turn around and use those funds to enrich themselves further and divide us with manipulative, hateful rhetoric!

I can only hope that sanity will prevail and this demagogue's sojourn in the political limelight will be a short one, a disturbing anomaly in the pages of our history. If it isn't, if this 'man' becomes President and thereby acts for and in the name of the American people, then every last one of us will have sown the wind and will reap the terrible whirlwind, or tornado, or earthquake, or other cataclysm - economic, social or environmental - that is sure to result.