I thought we’d already reached Peak Trumpmania but if his next speech ends with Trump’s bodyguards going toe to toe with left-wing black activists trying to commandeer his stage to rant against the police, we might yet see him crack 50 percent in the polls. I’m shocked that he ended up saying this off the cuff in a Q&A last night rather than as part of his prepared remarks. It’s so squarely in the wheelhouse of his appeal — offering to fight, literally, against a group that’s politically correct to the point of being sacrosanct among progressives — that a campaign strategist couldn’t have scripted it better.
He’s not wrong about Sanders either.
‘I felt badly for him, but it showed that he’s weak. You know what? He’s getting the biggest crowds, and I’m getting the biggest crowds. We’re the two getting the crowds. But believe me, that’s not gonna happen to Trump.’
‘I would never give up my microphone,’ the billionaire White House hopeful added. ‘I thought that was disgusting.’
‘That showed such weakness, the way he was taken away by two young women. The microphone! They just took the whole place over!’
‘And the audience, which liked him! – I mean, they were him! – is saying, “What’s going on? How can this happen?”‘
True, but that’s easy for Trump to say. Trump doesn’t care if BLM hates him; if anything, it makes his supporters love him more. If Sanders gets a rap for opposing BLM, it’ll kill his progressive cred among parts of his own base. There’s already some tension on that point: He’s an old-school class warrior in a party whose young vanguard views race and “identity,” at least as much as class, as the tectonic plates in American society. They want to see more “intersectionality” blather from Bernie. If he had called the cops — the enemy — to clear black protesters, he would have been knocked as just another privileged white liberal who’s happy to use the state’s power against blacks when it benefits him to do so. It was weak of him to disappoint his audience by canceling the rally, but it was more of a tactical retreat than a surrender. He left that event with his status as the pure, untainted left-winger in the race still more or less intact.