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Huffington Post Op-Ed: 'A Violent Response to Trump Is as Logical as Any


“Violent resistance accomplishes this.”

Anti-Trump protesters hold up the broken pinata head of Donald Trump outside the Anaheim Convention Center during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on May 25, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

One Huffington Post writer has taken up the argument that “a violent response” is the “logical” approach to the candidacy of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump

Writer Jesse Benn wrote in a recent op-ed, “[T]here’s an inherent value in forestalling Trump’s normalization. Violent resistance accomplishes this.”

Secret Service agents guard presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the stage after a man tried to breach the security buffer at a campaign event in Vandalia, Ohio, March 12. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

In a piece aimed at liberals who have condemned violence at Trump rallies, Benn argued that those who say violence is always “unacceptable and counterproductive” ignore “the history of successful violent insurrection in the US, instead favoring the elementary school version of history in which nonviolence is the only means of struggle that’s ever achieved a thing.”

Benn wrote that Trump doesn’t represent a “political disagreement between partisans” that could “be handled as such,” but rather a “21st century US version” of fascism:

His calls for a "deportation force" to expel 11+ million people from the country, his claims that most Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals, his calls to keep databases of Muslims and to enact a total ban on Muslims entering the country, his rampant sexism, his mocking people with disabilities, and his propensity for lying have brought the already pathetic state of US political discourse to astoundingly precarious lows. Treating this like politics as usual allows it to become politics as usual, and those who do so risk complicity ushering in a new era of fascist politics in the United States.

Benn wrote that, due to “so many examples of Trump inciting violence,” the blame for violence at his rallies “should land primarily on his shoulders.” Other Republican presidential candidates, he argued, would not merit a violent response.

“As awful as Ted Cruz is, and he’s genuinely terrible, like there’s no way to overemphasize how terribly awful Ted Cruz is — politically, personally, as a colleague, a roommate, a presidential candidate," Benn wrote. "I mean he’s really the worst. But if he was the presumptive GOP nominee things wouldn’t look this way.”

Benn also argued that “the Trump problem” is not “an exclusively political issue,” and “no matter who wins in November, the forces underpinning his rise will remain”:

Trump doesn’t exist in a vacuum. He’s the natural consequence of, among other things, Republicans longstanding embrace of racism, perpetual attacks on the credibility of media, scientists, and the federal government, defunding public education, railing against so-called PC culture, and using immigrants as scape goats. Defeating these systems of power and their underlying apparatuses — think tanks, conservative radio, Fox News, the Tea Party, etc. — is a much longer-term and more demanding task than assuring Trump isn’t elected.

After his piece gained attention online, Benn took to twitter to defend his argument.




Follow Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) on Twitter

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