Donald Trump claims that if he doesn’t get the nomination this summer, his followers will revolt and there’ll be trouble like we’ve never seen.
I saw Chicago in ’68, and L.A. after Rodney King, and Harlem after Dr. King’s assasination. I’m not worried about the Trumpsters and their red hats. They’re not people with anything to fight for: they don’t face induction into the army or live in forgotten shacks in untended slums or drink poisoned water from their lead-contaminated pipes. If the people of Flint, Michigan, threatened to riot, I’d take them very seriously. It’s their lives and their children’s lives at stake, not some nebulous thought about making America great…and not just great: very very great.
Most Trumpsters, after all, have jobs, those who aren’t retired and throwing punches. They may not be paid enough in those jobs, but then they’re the ones who voted in Reagan and his Republican confederates who broke the unions that once protected the American worker and prevented jobs from being sent overseas. Now the unions are floundering and the well-paying jobs are gone and Trump followers refuse to connect the dots. Worse, they want a “businessman.” Discounting the fact that there isn’t a more inept businessman in the world than Donald Trump, do his devotees really think that businessmen are in business to make their workers rich? Because if they do, that explains a good deal about the logical thought pulsing madly through the Trump rallies.
And now, when his language seems to have reached the limits of irrationality, he threatens us with rioting if his voters are disenfranchised. Aside from the fact that he probably just learned the word disenfranchised, I say it won’t happen. I say his followers will stop short of vandalizing stores and setting cars ablaze because such actions may very well scratch their iPhone cases and render the devices unusable. I suppose if there’d been iPhones in Germany in 1932, we could have avoided a lot of unpleasantness and tragedy. People would have recorded each other at Hitler’s rallies, then gone home, had a beer, and watched each other on Deutschland Tube. They would have fallen off the Trumpwagen by now.
Vote for me or I’ll punch your face in has always been more or less an undercurrent at Trump gatherings. Now, I’m thinking, the posters are already being printed…in a foreign country…by non-union workers.