Yesterday, Donald Trump Jr. made an appearance at the popular Uptown bar Brick Street to support his father’s campaign for president. This event saw hundreds of people in attendance both inside and outside the building, including supporters of the elder Trump as well as protesters. This event was billed by many around campus as a potentially explosive and perhaps even violent clash of two opposing groups, especially in the wake of national reports over the summer that charged many of Trump’s supporters with acts of aggression towards their opposition.
Nothing of the sort happened. In fact, most of the exchange between the groups at this event, though vulgar, turned out to be mere words, lifeless rhetoric.
And as multiple accounts of the event claimed, most of the vulgarity came not from the Trump supporters, but from the anti-Trump protesters and Hillary Clinton supporters. Reports came in of protesters hurling vicious insults and profanities at those attending the rally, many of which had no substance or relevance to any major issue in this country; a few include “Tiny hands, tiny dick” and “Fuck Trump.”
We are not saying that this action is intrinsic to one side over the other. It is almost a certain fact that over the course of this election season, supporters of many different candidates have shown such subpar behavior towards fellow members of the electorate. However, because this event occurred within the Miami community, it is important that we take it as a case study in this election.
These protesters’ actions represent the unfortunate regression of presidential campaigns to less of a true debate on the issues and more a display of political theater. Much of the discourse in Brick Street yesterday was devoid of any meaningful substance. Rather, it was a display of strong emotion and unproductive banter — no different than the more memorable scenes of the recent debates.
One could imagine the possibility that many of the protesters present yesterday were simply trying to bait the Trump supporters into taking part in many of the violent actions that Trump supporters have been accused of in recent months. This goal, on the surface, may seem more purposeful than simply trying to insult people. However, if this was indeed the goal, it only shows how far the political arena has strayed from the issues.
Taking advantage of the media presence at a campaign stop to manufacture a negative picture of the other side may be a good example of political gamesmanship (a tactic Trump himself has used throughout his campaign), but it discourages meaningful social discourse altogether.
Again, we stress that such childish behavior has pervaded throughout the course of this election season, surfacing in all facets of it. Additionally, we recognize the need for protests and open dialogue at different events. This paper has already condemned Trump, and we believe that his actions and those of many of his supporters are open to and deserving of severe scrutiny.
But there is a difference between good dialogue and bad dialogue, and many of the Clinton supporters showed an example of bad dialogue that most of the Trump supporters, in this case, did not. It should be noted that many Clinton supporters and protesters at the event made great efforts to have meaningful demonstrations and messages, including demands for the support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Additionally, it is ridiculous to assume that every single Trump supporter at the appearance acted with good will and manners. We do not want to paint too broad of a brush on the situation. Yet the fact remains that in today’s society, those who speak the loudest are often the only ones that are heard on social media and mass media as a whole.
We would like to remind Clinton supporters of the reasons they support her and oppose Trump. More specifically, of how his behavior and, at times, obscene language has influenced your view of him and the potential prospect of someone with his temperament being elected to the highest office in the nation. If you are truly disgusted with all that he has done and said, make sure that in participation of protesting him, you don’t do and say the same, you go high when they go low.