Trump Battles the Violent Left - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Trump Battles the Violent Left

It has become a staple of Donald Trump rallies. The American Left, in all its historically violent glory, is out there trying to provoke violence. 

The pattern today goes like this.

Somebody, or multiples of leftist somebodies shows up at a Trump rally, and quickly proceeds not to boo but to provoke. When the candidate or his supporters are forced to take notice, the gendarmes are called, a scene ensues, and for a moment violence — small scale violence thus far — ensues.

Where have we seen this pattern before? For those old enough to remember their leftist history the answer is when then Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the 1968 Democratic nominee for president, was on the campaign trail against Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat turned third party candidate George Wallace.

The issue in the day was the Vietnam War. It was opposed — frequently with deliberate violence (can you say “unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers”?) — by the American Left. It made no difference that a liberal Democrat (Lyndon Johnson) occupied the White House. In the long and all too frequently bloody history of the Violent Left (they over the centuries of the Ku Klux Klan, the labor goons, the Weather Underground, and more), the Violent Left was out to do in LBJ’s designated successor, the wonderfully decent Hubert Humphrey.

Let’s take a look back to see how the Violent Left worked the game in that 1968 campaign in which they repeatedly did what they could to sabotage not just the Humphrey campaign rallies but also the Chicago Democratic Convention that nominated the man whose slogan that year was “the politics of joy.”

Here’s an excerpt from The Making of the President 1968, the third volume in Pulitzer Prize winning author Theodore H. White’s five-volume series on presidential elections from 1960 through 1980. White is describing here a Humphrey rally that occurred in Seattle on September 28, 1968. Like Donald Trump today, this particular Humphrey rally had attracted thousands of Humphrey fans. But there was a problem. The Violent Left had shown shown up in force. Recorded Teddy White:

For these were not ordinary hecklers; they had come in buses, marshaled and mobilized, and stationed themselves early. Their banners waved for the TV cameras — COPS PLUS DEMOCRATS EQUAL PIGS; MAYOR DALEY FOR HEART DONOR; PEACE NOW; DON’T HUMP ON ME; STOP THE BOMBING — but the banners did not bother me. Nor did their flags — the black flags of the anarchists, SDS (the far-left Students for a Democratic Society) banners, Viet Cong banners. Nor the filth and obscenity of their shouting. It was the precise, rhythmic, organized cadence of their effort to break up Humphrey’s public discourse. Humphrey would speak, and the organized students would shout ‘Sell-Out, Sell-Out, Sell-Out!” The platform microphone would be turned up full force and they would chant ‘Bull S–t, Bull S–t, Bull S–t.’ Humphrey, contending with them, angry, in occasional pauses, would raise his voice to a shriek, and the marshal of their disruption would give the signal. The marshal, a swarthy youth with a downturned mustache, rode piggy-back on the shoulders of another student, dressed in green sweater, a white handkerchief on his forearm, and as Humphrey, in occasional pauses, would try to make a point, the marshal would bring his arm down and his mob would yell, ‘Shame, Shame, Shame, Shame,’ and then ‘Bull S–t, Bull S–t, Bull S–t,’ or ‘Sell-Out, Sell-Out, Sell-Out.’ Hate contorted the faces of the young; at one point, through the mob came hurtling a placard whose stick hit CBS correspondent David Schoumacher in the forehead, narrowly missing his eye; one had no doubt that, had there been no police on stand-by, they would have rushed the platform and, indeed, done physical violence to those who resisted. There, at the roped-off center of the rally, one knew in one’s own heart that, had it come to violence, had the student mob rushed, one would have struck back with equal violence as had Mayor Daley’s cops in Chicago. One knew that whatever Humphrey had had to say to a larger nation, the larger audience, would be erased this night on television, and only the violence, inviting further violence across the nation, would be shown on the ninety-second clips of the networks.

….High in a corner of the Seattle Center’s Arena balcony, to the right and rear the rowdies gathered early, and a bloc of some 200 students, led by a tough with a bullhorn, were already roughing up the meeting by the time Humphrey arrived. “Fascist, Fascist!” they called the Vice President. As he first attempted to conciliate them, then to argue with them, then to give the bullhorn man a time to speak, the meeting dissolved into chaos until, as their leader gave the signal and the gallery mob began the chant “Dump the Hump, Dump the Hump,” the Secret Service decided it had gone far enough. Unceremoniously, Secret Servicemen and policemen began to drag the marauders from the gallery and Humphrey was left to finish his speech, unreported and lost to the record.

Got that? There was the liberal Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, a lifetime champion of civil rights and the New Deal/Fair Deal/New Frontier/Great Society liberal agendas of the era, and his own “Secret Service decided it had gone far enough.” Working with the local Seattle police they did exactly what is happening now at Trump rallies: they “began to drag the marauders” out. Put another way, Hubert Humphrey was downright Trumpian.

Not to miss the obvious, note well the reference to “Mayor Daley’s cops in Chicago.”

The ideological ancestors of all these goons showing up to disrupt Donald Trump rallies by trying to provoke violence did that 1,000 times over as Humphrey was in the process of being nominated in Chicago that August of 1968. Again, Theodore H. White:

Thus, late Tuesday night the rioters had taken shelter in Grant Park, where, under the beige cliff of the Conrad Hilton, watched by the protective eye of national television, they filled the night sky with their chanting, “Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil,” or “Stop the War, Stop the War, Stop the War,” rising in chorus until after three in the morning below the windows of Hubert Humphrey and (Humphrey’s anti-war opponent Senator) Eugene McCarthy.

….One looks down on the swaying mass: the red flags of revolution; the black flags of the anarchists; Viet Cong flags; red-and-blue banners; Omega banners; no American flags. In the immobile, tightly crowded pack, the soft flesh of those up directly against the police does not move. Toilet paper is coming down from the windows of the hotels that shape the scene; wads of documents, bundled up, are being tossed on police below from protest-sympathizers in hotel windows above; one hears the sound of bottles splintering below. The police are under attack — not from the marchers but from the dark above. And at this point, which is about 7:55 in my notes, I read that the demonstrators are now chanting: ‘F–k You, LBJ, F–k You LBJ, Fuck You LBJ.”

….Slam! Like a fist jolting, like a piston exploding from its chamber comes a hurtling column of police from off Balbo into the intersection, and all things happen too fast: first the charge as the police wedge cleaves through the mob; then screams, whistles, confusion, people running off into Grant Park, across the bridges….

There is much blood now — police blood and demonstrators’ blood. The mob is yelling “Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil.” The chant changes occasionally to “The Whole World is Watching, The Whole World is Watching, The Whole World is Watching.”

…The Whole World was indeed watching.

And on it went. White observed: “The Chicago police had been provoked as no other police force had been provoked”….and White goes on to observe that the media/television savvy leaders of the Violent Left knew exactly how their media allies would portray the scene through countless edited re-runs and close-ups. The police were bullies, the Violent Left provocateurs the innocent good guys.

And the end result? The election of Richard Nixon.

What these Violent Left provocateurs at today’s Trump rallies are about is the same thing their predecessors in the Violent Left were about at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968, not to mention at the later Humphrey rallies like that Seattle rally mere weeks after Chicago. The Violent Left was combining, again in White’s words, “the new arts of violence” with “the new arts of opinion manipulation.” Something White notes all the way back in 1968 would be of “vital significance” in “the years to come.”

And so it is.

Already, like clockwork and in the style exactly of the liberal media of 1968 which made the Violent Left the heroes and the under-assault Chicago police not to mention Humphrey himself into Hitlerites, the Washington Post and the New York Times are leading the anti-Trump charge, with the Post seriously publishing an op-ed accusing Trump of being another Hitler. While out there (so to speak) at Cal Fresno — instinctively if unknowingly – the student paper mimicked exactly those 1968 Violent Leftists with an editorial that featured a photo of Trump and the headline (in capital letters): SIEG HEIL!

So here we go again. First it was Hubert Humphrey. Now it’s Donald Trump. 

But the Violent Left? Why, they are heroes and martyrs. How mean to drag them out of Trump rallies. 


Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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