I have watched the “progress” of the Republican primary with a combination of disgust, amusement, and dismay. It has been so light on addressing real issues faced by the country (not the least of which were caused by Republican policy, or lack of policy, or active impediment of the economy). The candidates constantly refer to each other by childish names. It’s pathetic.
Trump rallies are distinguished in that there have been numerous instances of protesters being physically abused. I’ve seen a number of these, and in no case did the protester physically threaten anyone.
In one particularly disgraceful instance, a media photographer was trying to get a photo of protesters being removed, and a man identified as a Secret Service agent grabbed the media person by the throat and threw him down. The SS guy was there to protect Trump, who was nowhere near.
The real problem here is Trump and how he manipulates people. He can stand on stage and talk about how physical violence was OK in the past, and protesters deserve what happens to him or her.
Then, when questioned about any incident, he falls back on stating he didn’t see anything, and no one has reported it to him. He has even followed up by stating the protester essentially had it coming.
I have also see and written about his treatment of a reporter who was asking him questions he found uncomfortable. He had the guy tossed, and then went on and on when questioned that the guy was “screaming”. I saw the whole episode, the guy was not in any way screaming, or even raising his voice. That seems indicative of the way that Trump will dodge questions he finds uncomfortable, by exaggerating or out and out lying.
The tack he is taking is the same cowardly tack taken by Republican “leaders” since Obama took office. When Republicans spouted something that was perceived to be damaging to Obama, they would say something to the effect of well, people have a bad impression of Obama, or they had strong feelings to express. This was always done without regard to the veracity of the claim. Birther bullcrap was a perfect example; both Boehner and McConnell fell back on claims that they hadn’t looked at the birth certificate, so they really couldn’t say.
This was used in many other ways to avoid taking a stand, or encourage the fringe element of the Republicans. Instead of discussing climate change, they would in unison say they weren’t scientists and so could not discuss the subject (I note that they still voted on the issues).
Trump is clearly playing on the fears of the easily led and easily scared. Avoiding talking about specific issues, and constantly harping on scare topics, gets a certain percentage of the low intelligence or easily scared voters flocking to him.
I hope that Hilary Clinton, when the general election campaign starts, goes after Trump (or whoever the Republican nominee is) with every one of these prevarications.