Opinion Staff Writer
Tim Kaine’s rally on Wednesday invited many supporters to come out and encourage others to vote early. Children sang the Pledge of Allegiance and participated in holding signs or coming with families to see Kaine in person.
This presidential campaign embroils itself in conflict because free speech exists. There were a few outspoken individuals who voiced their opposing viewpoints.
While not many protestors came to the event, a select few decided to scream accusations at Kaine during his speech. The most distinct being someone who chanted “Bill Clinton is a rapist.” Hearing this being chanted as some honorary battlecry made many within the crowd turn and give a pitiful laugh at the individual.
However, this displays a much darker point about the volatile animosity between Trump and Clinton supporters. These people are willing to go an extra step and publically embarrass themselves to prove some point they believe to be noble. The protester’s wanton urge to spout such hateful claims aloud for everyone to hear — including children — displays the successful fearmongering utilized by Trump to receive support.
These displays of aggression highlight the collective animosity stirred up by the divisive rhetoric of Trump. This purposeful social division trickles down into local gatherings and governments which reveals how spiteful society really is toward other groups
This voracious fearlessness to push a message of such hateful nature displays the transparency of protesters. Whether they support Trump or some other third-party, their longing to be seen and heard fuels the terrifyingly real narcissistic idealism in America, which can be confused with speaking one’s mind.
We all can speak freely, but to use that ability for something so hateful is appalling.
The protesters achieved their goal to be heard, but whatever point they were attempting to prove was lost in translation. Their self-righteous beliefs about fighting to make America great again only distances them from any sort of progressive thinking or hopes of inspiring real and effective change.
Instead of politely discussing issues at hand or debating fairly and with poise, the protesters chose to take the immature route and be as obnoxious as possible so they could be heard. Nobody wanted violence at the rally, its purpose was to create an environment of communal strength to champion a candidate and urge people to vote. By creating hostility where it did not exist before, the protesters goal was to stir up conflict.
Luckily, instead of responding with the violence and hatefulness observed at Trump rallies against protesters, the crowd at Kaine’s event neutralized any potential animosity by simply waiting for the protestors to finish and not engaging them by any means.
Protesting is an outcome of any debate. Opinions for and against issues will always exist, and people will protest should they feel compelled. Democratic protestors have overstepped boundaries before at Trump rallies to similar extents, but this particular incident revealed first-hand the ineffable stubbornness of Trump supporters.
Besides exposing children to such hostility, the protesters only display how ignorant we, as a society, have become. The adults committing such disrespectful and embarrassing acts are supposed to be the inspiration for the future generations, but instead they show what can happen when someone has the loudest voice or largest ego.
Another protester was pulled over after repeatedly driving around the WT Weaver roundabout waving a large Trump flag from their convertible. This kind of behavior is unnecessary and simply adds validity toward the argument describing Trump supporters as ignorant and fearless to a fault.
The collective identity Trump supporters represent is a creation of their own doing. By acting out in a violent, racist or deliberately offensive manner they leave themselves with no stable position to voice their concerns. By shunning all other voices and minority opinions, they effectively silence themselves because nobody wants to hear what they have to say except themselves.