Trump: Historic Fork for the United States

March 12, 2016 (San Diego) The Trump rally in Chicago was suspended after anti trump demonstrations broke up. The coalition that stopped this rally were Black Lives Matter. Move On, University Students,  members of the Muslim Community,  the Hispanic Community, and human rights groups. This is according to El Universal in Mexico City.

We also know from sources that other groups involved, including a small contingent of Bernie Sanders supporters and military veterans. Moreover, among the groups that want to stop Trump are members of the very conservative Club for Growth. 

The Donald Trump campaign issued the following statement:

MARCH 11, 2016 –
Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date.

Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.

A CBS reporter was arrested for resisting arrest. This is Sopan Deb, who is part of the media gaggle assigned to the Trump campaign. The network says that there is video available where Deb is not resisting arrest, and has identified himself as working media. The officers did not care and still put him in cuffs.

Now the question is where are we as a nation. There is a photo, taken by the Chicago Tribune, of an elderly woman doing a Nazi salute and screaming Heil Hitler at demonstrators.

We are linking to the photo since the copyright belongs to the Chicago Tribune.

During the rally in Miami Trump prompted his followers to raise their right hand, to swear to him they were going to vote for him. This reminded many of Nazi rallies where party members and followers were prompted to raise their right hand straight in front of them. Trump has said the comparison is ridiculous, but the images are what they are. The photo from Chicago is eerie, since the woman who did that is an elderly citizen, who was young when the United States fought Word War II.

So let’s unpack this, and what this means for our future.

There are historic undercurrents at play here. There is anger from an economy that has not helped middle class Americans who are angry. Their children will not have the same good life they did. They are angry at Washington for that.

There is also an undercurrent of racism that has existed in the United States, mostly in the fringes. The last time we had a campaign run on racial issues and segregation was the George Wallace campaign in 1968. He ran on the ticket of the American Independent Party. This was a pro segregation campaign, to try to stop the civil rights act and other social advances. It failed.

The tensions have mostly existed under the surface, with some Americans who are part of fringe groups such as the Klu Klux Khan and white power identity groups. The real economy has hit workers in the nose, and we have had a decoupling of wages and productivity starting in 1975.


This is not difficult to understand. If real wages have stagnated, while productivity has gone up, Americans are angry. This anger is what is fueling the rise of fascism in the United States in the form of Donald Trump. (Incidentally this is also fueling the Bernie Sanders movement, but he is attracting a different universe of voters, who are also angry.)

The Rallies

Trump rallies have had an implied level of violence almost from the beginning. After Black Lives Matter got on the stage in Seattle, and Bernie Sanders gave them the microphone, Trump threatened that he would not allow that. We are paraphrasing Trump when he said that Sanders showed weakness, and that would never happen in one of his rallies.

After that Trump rallies have become increasingly hostile to anybody showing any level of opposition to the candidate. What we are seeing is literally lines drawn. Moreover, many of the demonstrators are now calling Trump a fascist. We have in the past at Reporting San Diego, incidentally.

What happened in Chicago was the culmination of taunts and aggressive language from the candidate towards both media and protesters. The violence was not unexpected, though it was less than we even expect to see in the future. We have seen people assaulted at rallies, and dragged, as well as promises from the candidate to cover any legal costs from followers who become violent.
We understand that Trump was removed by the Secret Service from a rally at Dayton, Ohio. We expect an increase in violence , and he is not expected to moderate his language. We know that there have been calls for him to temper the tone in his events.

After the end of the Saturday campaign day, Trump called for the arrest of protesters at his rallies, according to CNN.

What is going on?

This is not unlike the rise of strong men in other countries. What we are seeing is something outside the norm of American politics. The rise of Trump and media dismissal is akin to what happened with the rise of Adolph Hitler. However, the media, has been covering Trump campaign events mostly due to the ratings.

The media is essentially putting profits ahead of the public good. They are also mostly, not raising alarms about this campaign. After the fights in Chicago they seemed to ask if this was unusual, or whether he had lost the Republican nomination. This was David Gergen on CNN. There were other moments during the coverage that were incredible. One was when Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. She went over the timeline of violence at these rallies and suggested this was not accidental. Yet, this is the same media outlet that has been running the rallies as if they were breaking news. In effect, major media outlets are magnifying the message by having the events on live tv.

The media had a moment when they asked questions. It almost looked like the conversion on the road to Damascus. But now it is over. This is good for ratings, and damn the country! As we have pointed in the past, this is the kind of very dangerous speech that is leading to actual violence.

Reaction in Mexico

I have a unique point of view in this. The reason is not only that I still have family in Mexico, but I read Mexican press often. One reason is to keep current with events that will affect the border region in general, and San Diego in particular.

Over the last 25 years Mexico and the United States have had not just better relations due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA,) but an actual warming of relations at all levels. The Trump campaign is risking that. Mexican officials have been very critical of Trump in the recent past.

The last to speak on this has been President Enrique Pena Nieto, has compared the rise of Trump to that of Benito Mussolini and Hitler. He has been far from alone. Pena Nieto also said that there were no conditions under which Mexico would agree to pay for that wall.

The rise of Trump was first criticized by former Mexican President Vicente Fox. Fox also compared Trump to the rise of Hitler. During his comments he also used the F word. Trump took to Twitter and immediately complained abut it.

Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu has called the rise of Trump not just worrisome but has also said that they were ready to protect the interests of Mexican nationals in the United States. She added that the foreign office is sure that the racism and hate expressed by Trump are values not shared by most Americans.

Massieu added that Mexican- Americans, new immigrants and second and third generation, produce 8 points to the internal product of the United States. This translates to over 600,000 companies, and a bilateral relation that produces over one million dollars of wealth a minute.

This is a strategic relation, critical for the growth of both nations.

Finally Agriculture Secretary Jose Calzada Rovirosa criticized the statements from Trump. He also called Trump “a racist person.” Though he did address the fact that Mexico is now very competitive in the world stage, with a surplus of 600 million in the agricultural sector.

He added that the agricultural sector has evolved from important to the economy to strategic for the development of the country. This was in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Mexico has evolved from not paying too much attention to the rise of Trump last June, like most observers we must add, to a state of generalized alarm. So what could happen with the rise of Trump to the Presidency? Well, San Diegans depend on the wind farms in the Sierra Juarez in Baja California. Given Mexican history, we can easily foresee the nationalization of those wind farms, and Mexico using that energy in Baja, as relations go from strategic and friendly, to cold and fearful.

This state of alarm at the rise of Trump is not just listed to Mexico. Since we share a strategic border, this could affect the economy of the Cali Baja region in significant ways.





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6 replies

  1. Did you watch Trumps rally in Kansas City MO tonight? I was at work on break watching on my phone. Unreal. He talked about and lambasted protesters nearly the entire speech; calling on their arrest. Several were arrested and many pepper sprayed. He is frightening. Trump lost big time in DC tonight, gaining zero delegates. Let’s hope the tides are turning.

  2. Nadin, yes there is “an undercurrent of racism that has existed in the United States” but it’s not “mostly in the fringes”: it’s widespread under the surface. The last time we had a campaign run on racial issues and segregation was not the George Wallace campaign in 1968: race, then coded as “law and order”, has been at the heart of every Republican campaign since then, since they took over the solid South in response to the Democrat’s passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, the most obvious example having been the first Bush’s extensive use of the image of Willie Horton. The name for this phenomenon is “dog whistle politics”, the use of that which resounds underneath the surface, and the most obvious recent use of it here in San Diego was in our last mayoral election in which the tide turned after Alvarez was repeatedly and effectively accused of favoring some districts over others, the opposite of what he was actually doing.

    • We could all make the point that it was sent to the fringes. The Wallace campaign was almost fifty years ago.

      That said, I have never seen this in the US, though sadly I am not surprised. As to the dog whistle, absolutely. That was always directed at that undertow.

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