This past Friday, a left-wing mob shut down a Donald Trump rally in Chicago. Most Americans viewing what happened saw it for what it was — another left-wing assault on the speech of those with whom they differ and on traditional American civility.
Not surprisingly, the media reporting has concentrated overwhelmingly on Trump for incendiary and inexcusable comments he has made at some of his other rallies that were disrupted by protesters. For example, he offered to pay any legal bills incurred by a man in the audience who sucker-punched a protester as he was being led out of a Trump rally.
Many have also noted the alleged assault by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was accused of trying to grab Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields’ arm. (I say “alleged” because I have watched the video of the alleged incident four times but could not ascertain what actually took place.)
For the record, I have been relentless in my criticisms of Donald Trump, both in print and on my radio show, preferring any other Republican candidate. Based on his past, I have not had any reason to trust him as a conservative or as a Republican, and he has exhibited serious character flaws.
Nevertheless, truth must trump opposition to Trump.
And the truth is that the left-wing attack on Trump’s Chicago rally had little, if anything, to do with what the incendiary comments Donald Trump has made about attacking protestors at his events. Leftist mobs attack and shut down events with which they differ as a matter of course. They do so regularly on American college campuses, where conservative speakers — on the rare occasion they are invited — are routinely shouted down by left-wing students (and sometimes faculty) or simply disinvited as a result of leftist pressure on the college administration.
A couple of weeks ago conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro was disinvited from California State University, Los Angeles. When he nevertheless showed up, 150 left-wing demonstrators blocked the entrance to the theater in which he was speaking, and sounded a fire alarm to further disrupt his speech.
In just the last year, left-wing students have violently taken over presidents’ or deans’ offices at Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dartmouth, Providence College, Harvard, Lewis & Clark College, Temple University and many others. Conservative speakers have either been disinvited or shouted down at Brandeis University, Brown University, the University of Michigan and myriad other campuses.
And leftists shout down virtually every pro-Israel speaker, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at every university to which they are invited to speak.
Yet the mainstream media simply ignore this left-wing thuggery — while reporting that the shutting down of a pro-Trump rally is all Trump’s fault for his comments encouraging roughing up protestors at his events.
That the left shuts down people with whom it differs is a rule in every leftist society. The left — not classical liberals, I hasten to note — is totalitarian by nature. In the 20th century, the century of totalitarianism, virtually every totalitarian regime in the world was a leftist regime. And the contemporary American university — run entirely by the left — is becoming a totalitarian state, where only left-wing ideas are tolerated.
Tens of millions of Americans look at what the left is doing to universities, and what it has done to the news and entertainment media, and see its contempt for the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. They see Donald Trump attacked by this left, and immediately assume that only Trump will take on, in the title words of Jonah Goldberg’s modern classic, “Liberal Fascism.”
And if these millions had any doubt that Trump alone will confront left-wing fascism, Trump’s opponents seemed to provide proof. Like the mainstream media, the three remaining Republican candidates for president — John Kasich, the most and Marco Rubio the least — blamed Trump for the left-wing hooligans more than they blamed the left. It is possible that in doing so Senators Cruz and Rubio and Governor Kasich effectively ended their campaigns and ensured the nomination of Trump as the Republican candidate for president. The combination of left-wing violence and the use of it by the other GOP candidates to wound Trump rather than label the left as the mortal threat to liberty that it is may clinch Trump’s nomination.
And if the left continues to violently disrupt Trump rallies, they — along with the total absence of condemnation by the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate — may well ensure that Donald Trump is elected president. Between the play-Fascism of Trump and the real Fascism of the left, most Americans will know which one to fear most.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.