“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” yelled thousands of young, mentally benumbed protesters in major cities across the land in a disruptive, anti-democratic display of attempted mob rule. It is not as if we were not warned this could happen. It’s just that it was supposed to come from Trump’s followers.
On any number of occasions, the candidate said the system was “rigged,” and then commentators would worry. You know, they would tell us, we have this great free land with peaceful transfers of power and he is trying for the first time in our history to breed trouble that would change all of that.
Right now, of course, all kinds of leftists are saying the election was rigged for Trump, and Democrats out the gazoo have said Al Gore and John Kerry were cheated in their off-target shots at the presidency. Trump made endless lambasting remarks about others during his campaign but nothing more vicious or hateful than what any number of commentators, some of them prominent, have said about him and his followers.
And keep in mind that the protests we are now seeing are not of the mild-mannered, fine-tuned sort. One protester actually said people would have to die for this election, and other protesters carried signs saying, “Kill Trump.” These shouting, fist-waving people burned the American flag. They have burned effigies. They have injured police by throwing rocks and fireworks at them.
In one incident apart from the traffic-blocking marches, a mob badly beat an elderly man thought to have voted for Trump and dragged him through the streets. That sort of thing is not entirely new. During the campaign, a young Trump supporter was also beaten by a mob and was shown in a video desperately trying to escape. There was also a video of one person distantly associated with the Clinton campaign at least talking about instigating turmoil at Trump rallies.
What these marches add up to, of course, is saying to hell with the American system, which happens to include free elections and peaceful transfers of power that have not exactly been common in human history. The protesters are saying that only they count. The millions of fellow Americans disagreeing with them do not. They are saying that peaceful discussion comes in second to demands suiting their particular sensitivities. They would have you know that they know best and that just about anything goes if it enables them to get their way.
You want something more than Trump to worry about right now? Worry about young people who seem to have no respect for our best traditions and no understanding of what they are all about.
They have the right to do what they are doing, except, of course, for the kinds of vandalism and violence that are landing some of them in jail. But should they do it? No. They should get themselves to a good civics class.
Hey, hey, ho, ho, lousy citizens have got to go.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may email him at email@example.com.