Trump has tapped into the nation’s deeply felt dissatisfaction with Government and the perceived need for America to protect itself from enemies near and far. Candidate Trump promises to restore our nation to greatness.

Trump doesn’t just rely on his supporters to showcase this anger; he shows anger and distain himself, egging people on with his offensive, inflammatory, discriminatory and sexist rhetoric.

Trump’s cancelled raucous Chicago rally on Friday and subsequent campaign events, including in Kansas where tear gas was deployed, are like twisted flashbacks to the violence in August 1968 at the Democratic National Convention and on many campuses across our country in that era.

Here, the instead of protesting an unjust war, a candidate’s words and wide-ranging threats are inciting lawlessness. Trump knows how to push buttons in his supporters and the protesters. He seems to enjoy it. And, judging from the last debate, he can turn his venom off and on.

Trump’s tactics display a dispiriting meanness. At a time when many Americans are behind the effort to stomp out bullying in and outside of schools, a bully is stomping across the nation, racking up delegates at a frightening rate. Trump’s fast moving and seemingly unstoppable train is sending all the wrong messages to adults and children here and abroad.

Trump may think protests and protesters are useless and punishable but he’s wrong. As in ’68 and today, it’s the protesters who voiced then and are voicing today the conscience of a Nation and the need to preserve its values. Unlike Trump who wants to arrest the protesters so they feel the pain of their acts through a permanent criminal record, better to listen to what they have to say. We might find they offer a better vision of America than the candidate they are protesting.

Written by

Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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