On Tuesday, American voters will go to the polls to vote in the critical "Super Tuesday II" primaries with much at stake. Pundits believe that, despite another weekend of controversy following the violence that ensued at a canceled Chicago rally, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump will coast to victory, effectively sealing the nomination.
Political commentator Chauncey DeVega sat down with Loud & Clear’s Brian Becker to provide an account of the Trump rally shutdown and thoughts on the race.
Who was responsible for the violence we saw in Chicago?
DeVega explains that he had the choice of attending with press credentials or as a private citizen, and that he chose the latter, after learning that Trump’s staff "cordons off the press so that they don’t get the real story."
"You had a sense that something was going to happen," said DeVega, "the Trump supporters, many from the suburbs or from out of state in rural Indiana, didn’t seem to know that they really are not the silent majority, some seemed really shocked they weren’t in Kansas anymore."
DeVega remarked that the violence came not from the protesters, who peacefully sought to express dissent to the xenophobic rhetoric for which the boisterous real estate mogul is now known, but rather from "Trump’s goons who jump on these people, it was Trump folks starting the fights."
The real blame, however, falls on Trump himself, according to DeVega, who believes that he orchestrated the entire event. "Trump wanted to have a victory lap in Barack Obama’s backyard, but what he really wanted was chaos, those visual for his audience of racism and totalitarian control will get him votes."
DeVega warned that the "mainstream media needs to be very careful about this narrative about Trump protesters causing a disruption because, as Trump said to Politico, he loves having protesters at events and would love to admit more of them, he wants the controversy and to be able to rail like Nixon and Goldwater about protesters and outside agitators really being the problem."
Can Donald Trump really be President of the United States?
Brian Becker weighed in with his own assessment, that perhaps the Trump spectacle has now gone too far. "Along the inaugural parade route there would be hundreds of thousands of protesters who reject racism and this neo-fascist environment that is surrounding Trump," speculated Becker.
"Many in the establishment realize that if a political candidate, simply by taking office, becomes the trigger or magnet, or the catalyst of protest, that is something that is very unsettling,"said Becker.
DeVega agreed that members of what he calls "the deep state," or the shadow unelected government of powerful agency heads and appointees, are now doing everything they can do to stop Trump. He cited “a series of articles and a full page ad in the New York Times where a former CIA chief, admirals, and generals cautioned that Trump cannot be elected for the sake of the Republic.”
The problem, in DeVega’s opinion, will not quickly evaporate should Donald Trump be defeated – Trump, he argues, is more of a symptom or a side effect of a much greater neo-fascist condition in American politics. "Fox News rightwing polarization, the Southern Strategy, changing demographics, and a broken economy have given rise to these circumstances; Trump is only a reflection of the problem rather than the cause."
In fact, the jingoistic hyperbole that Trump spouts largely pre-date Trump, who has merely mastered the delivery of these messages. "The first iteration of Trump was the Tea Party, and if you go further back to George Wallace, you see he is not an outlier in Republican politics, but what he is doing is dropping the mask of their racist gentility and politeness."
Becker agreed, suggesting that Republican bigotry has metastasized from dog-whistle politics to "an expression of militant white supremacy."
The question persists, however, whether the white supremacy narrative that has been adopted by the media and appears at least partially supported by the powerful images from recent Trump rally violence appropriately depict the characteristics of the average Trump supporter.
Should we trust our eyes that are telling us that Trump is fomenting white supremacy and that Bernie is nothing more than a protest candidate?
The media, in Becker’s estimation, has attempted to degrade the other anti-free trade candidate, Bernie Sanders, to a third-rail afterthought, and one has to wonder whether they are being shamed into voting against the other anti-free trade candidate.
Becker went on to say that "the mainstream media has been misleading people about the general election" in speaking of his preferred candidate, Bernie Sanders.
"The Hill wrote a headline, ‘Poll shows Hillary beats Trump,’ but about four paragraphs in you see that Bernie beats Trump even more handily in the same poll," he said. Becker went on to say that when Sanders won Michigan, the narrative wasn’t "wow, Sanders won," but rather "Bernie hasn’t lost yet."
In Becker’s opinion, the mainstream media is trying to disenfranchise voters by forcing Clinton down the throats of a public that just isn’t excited about another four to eight years under establishment, incrementalist, military nationalist control. "There is a desire to create the aura of inevitability for Clinton so that even if it seems like Bernie is winning or can win, people don’t bother to vote."
DeVega agreed that Sanders would stack up better against Trump, but he believes that the establishment will ensure that Clinton is the nominee, which he cautions may be a mistake against Trump.
"Trump’s base of support is much wider and deeper than is generally known. Bernie is the one candidate who can peel off some of those disgruntled working class voters to closely challenge Trump," he said.