These so-called safe spaces are segments of the public square, usually on college campuses, that have been hijacked by illiberal liberals who make them into spaces where only some are safe, and others are in actual danger.
Donald Trump’s rallies, where incidents of racist aggression have become more and more common, take a page from the radical Left’s handbook by offering just such an exclusive space to the one group that is consistently excluded from other so-called safe spaces: lower and middle-class straight white Americans. As was recently pointed out in The Atlantic, what unites Trump voters is that they feel politically voiceless and powerless. They have watched their jobs dry up, their homes be repossessed, their costs for basic health care soar, and themselves become targets for ongoing insults from the Left. They’ve been called racist for being angry at President Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration laws; bigots for thinking homosexual behavior is wrong; extremists for standing up for innocent human life by opposing abortion on demand, and backwards for wanting to exclude men from the women’s restroom. And they can’t say anything about it without having their words twisted and thrown back in their faces — all in the name of “tolerance.”
It’s only a small step from “I feel voiceless” to wondering who stole your voice. At a Donald Trump rally, it’s clear who’s to blame: the politicians, the judges, the Left, the illegal immigrants. What Trump is doing so successfully isn’t new; he’s using the narrative of oppression, a narrative employed by groups across the political spectrum, to overcome rational analysis and inflame the survival instinct of his constituency. It’s worked so well partly because of the political climate created by the radical Left.
While everyone was watching videos of protesters being hustled out of Trump rallies last week, here’s what happened under the radar in California that illustrates the point.