The weekend marked an ominous turn in Donald Trump’s campaign.
The violence in Chicago on Friday evening at the University of Illinois (UIC) Pavilion and surrounding area — including the Eisenhower Expressway — caused the billionaire to cancel his rally. Trump was in Chicago when he explained to Fox’s Sean Hannity that he did not want people getting hurt.
Chicago police could not figure out how only five arrests were made. One of their number received a bloody blow to the side of his head. The rank and file have raised many questions about the lack of law enforcement officers at the event and along nearby streets. Protesters blocked ambulances from reaching injured Trump supporters who were assaulted. One celebrated with gunfire.
Saturday also had its share of unpleasant events. Trump had to cancel his rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the same reason. At the Dayton rally, he was nearly attacked. Near the end of his speech, he suddenly turned around and four Secret Service men jumped onto the stage. A university student known to locals for his confrontations with military veterans was arrested.
Everyone — including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — is blaming Trump. Rubio said it was ‘getting harder every day’ to envisage supporting Trump should he get the GOP nomination.
An article in Chronicles magazine points out that political correctness is the flashpoint for both the controversial Republican candidate’s supporters and protesters. In the 1980s, no one took PC seriously, now it’s part of our lives. One could say the same of Donald Trump. Last summer, no one took Trump’s candidacy seriously, and look where we are today.
This struck a chord:
Political correctness further serves today’s dominant powers by making it impossible to resist or even discuss what’s going on. The project of social transformation of which it is a part means that a vote with regard to serious matters can take effect only if it favors outcomes that are already decided in other ways. (Hence recent Supreme Court decisions on “gay marriage,” and the conduct of the European Union when it loses a referendum or runs into other forms of popular opposition.) It tells people that in order to say anything that touches on their rulers’ social projects they must buy into them and possess the training and up-to-date knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of what can and can’t be said. Otherwise, they can be shut up, made the object of public hatred and scorn, and driven from their jobs and social positions.
We’re seeing that opposition to notional knuckledragging supporters of Brexit. They are ‘stupid’, ‘insular’, ‘racist’ country-dwellers.
Yet, this new mood — as with Trump’s candidacy — is spreading.
On March 12, Le Monde published results of a recent survey indicating that 53% of the French would like a referendum on membership of the EU. The survey covered several European countries. It was conducted by two faculty members of the University of Edinburgh and a German who works for a non-partisan think tank in Berlin.
Outside of Britain, France has the greatest percentage of people — 44% — who want to leave the EU.
Sixty-three per cent of the French believe that leaving the EU will improve Britain’s economy. Only 33% think there will be mostly negative consequences.
Thirty-two per cent of the French want to see welfare restrictions on other EU citizens living there. One quarter would like to see an end to freedom of movement in the EU.
Professor Anand Menon, who specialises in European Politics at King’s College London and heads the research group UK in a Changing Europe, deplores the idea of leaving the EU. Yet, he acknowledges:
The British referendum is a laboratory for other referenda in Europe.
As for Frexit, so far, other polling figures appear similar to Britain’s. According to Le Monde, 45% would vote to remain in the EU, 33% would leave and 22% are undecided.
Still, at least the conversation in France has started.
Whether the powers that be like it or not, change is coming.