OK, the anti-Trump riots in San Jose are scary enough. But as a bonus, we have one Vox editor calling for more riots [and getting himself suspended] and a second Juice-Voxer rationalizing exactly that. From Dara Lind's piece, which should have been titled "Give Violence A Chance":
Donald Trump rallies are only going to get more dangerous for everyone
Protesters assaulted Trump supporters outside a rally in San Jose. Here's why this keeps happening.
As tension around Trump rallies has shifted outside the arenas, and protesters have become more numerous and more aggressive, some of the people protesting are simply provocateurs. Others are longtime, hardcore "direct action" activists like the anarchist Black Bloc.
These are the sorts of people who turn up whenever they see an opportunity to disrupt the status quo. They were in Baltimore in 2015 and Ferguson in 2014.
But that doesn't make their presence inevitable. They aren't turning up to Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton rallies. Donald Trump's campaign has become a locus for confrontation and instability, and that attracts the sort of people who see violence as an acceptable way to get things done.
And on to the rationalizations:
A lot of political commentators recognize that Donald Trump poses a categorical threat to established norms of American democracy, governance, and society. They believe that he represents (whether intentionally or not) an ideology that is hostile to groups of nonwhite Americans.
In other words, they believe there are Americans to whom Trump poses an existential threat.
I will pause and note that plenty of polling data and mortality statistics suggest that many working class whites believe that Democratic-supported trade deals, immigration policies and Affirmative Action preferences have been hostile and life-threatening) to whites. Are they right? Why ask?!?
You don't have to agree with protesters beating up Trump supporters, or even sympathize with them, to understand this. There are people who feel Trump's rise puts their lives in danger. And many people make decisions about what actions are "appropriate" differently when they feel personally under threat.
Ah, well, if the anti-Trump people believe it their behavior makes sense. But if white people were acting the same way? Haters!
In any case, what else can we do but respond violently in a democracy with a slack media these youngsters don't read anyway?
So if you're a young person who reacts viscerally to the things Donald Trump says about Mexicans or Muslims, what do you see as the available, appropriate response? Furthermore, if you're a young person who personally feels the effects of Trumpist attitudes — if you feel that your life is under threat because you're nonwhite, and you don't feel that anyone appears to care — what do you think needs to be done?
And if violent protests at Trump rallies continue to escalate, and continue to get coverage, what sort of people are likely to show up to the next one?
Wow. First, the notion that banning foreign Muslims or deporting illegal immigrants threatens the lives of "Americans" seems like a stretch. But maybe I am not thinking big enough - opposition to Obamacare or gun control might threaten lives; support for a more aggressive intervention in Syria might threaten lives; opposition to a War on Coal might threaten lives in Bangla Desh in a hundred years. Really, if a protestor can't link their opponent to life and death issues, they aren't trying (Is my local dog-catcher tough enough on rabies???).
Secondly, the probably young and no doubt delightful Dara Lind apparently thought that it goes without saying that this violence is not appropriate in our democracy. But since a different Vox editor, Emmett Rensin, is specifically calling for anti-Trump riots, maybe she ought to say this is wrong.
Otherwise, it looks like Vox is marching to a very strange place.
UPDATE: Ezra Klein suspends Emmett Rensin.