1. It’s Tuesday, March 15, 2016.
2. Yes, fans of Shakespeare and soothsayers, it’s the Ides of March. The 2060th anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar in the Roman Senate. I don’t believe they sell 2060th commemorative patches on the streets of Rome, a lost source of revenue for enterprising street vendors.
3. I’ve been thinking the words “Reichstag Fire” since Friday night, when I watched the footage of the canceled Don Trump rally in Chicago.
Did Trump try to orchestrate an event that would make his detractors look bad and bolster his candidacy, much the way the Nazis orchestrate a fire in the German parliament in order to blame Hitler’s targets? An event that could not fail to draw out hundreds of protestors because it took place in their neighborhood? Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn is sort of on the same page with this.
Obviously, I share the world view of the people who protested the Trump rally. It’s infuriating when a rally aimed at making you seem less than human takes place in your backyard.
But is what we all want – this miserable excuse of a human being totally, thoroughly, humiliatingly defeated – best served by disrupting his rallies? I wonder if the disruptions play into his hands. At the very least, they’re a way to further inflame these disgruntled people who have flocked to Trump the way the mice flocked to the Pied Piper.
4. I also find myself fluctuating between pity and contempt for the people supporting Trump. Pointing out statistics that the economy is growing, more people are working and the deficit is declining mean nothing when they’re told that none of the above is true. Pointing out that no one is responsible for killing more terrorists – including the mastermind of 9/11 – than Barack Obama means nothing to people brainwashed into thinking that he wants America defeated and second-rate.
Right now the arrow is pointing to contempt. There has always been a latent seething about people who are different among those who live in my mostly white, working-class area. Trump gives that anger what these people see as respectability – if this successful (?) businessman (?) can feel the same way I do, how wrong can I be?
5. People with common sense are scared, and I want this nonsense to end. On Thursday, I’ll talk about an idea that I have to combat Trumpism that might be better than disruption and playing into this schmuck’s hand, and might make his supporters see the futility of what they’re supporting.