A frail looking 78-year old man punched by surprise a hearty young disrupter at a Trump rally on national television. He was arrested and charged with assault. His bail was set at $2,500. You got that right. That’s the kind of bail you have to post if you spit on the ground, in some places. It’s lower than the bail, you have to post for selling a small quantity of cannabis in cities where it’s still illegal. Signs of things to come I think.
Dear overseas reader: The kind of crime involved here is entirely a matter for state courts, the courts of North Carolina, in this case. The Federal Government has nothing to say about it.
Next, the judge might simply dismiss the charges. It happens all the time. If he does not, I think the case is not gong to trial unless some group or other, or Trump himself proffer the puncher their help. More likely, there will be a plea bargain. The puncher will plead guilty to shouting, or something like that and he will get a sentence to do community service which he will enjoy doing because he is probably lonely, like many old guys. In the unlikely event that the case goes to trial, keep in mind that the puncher is entitled to a jury of his peers – in North Carolina. The jurors will not be drawn from the ranks of ultra leftist MoveOn or from leftist billionaire Soros’ employees.
The most likely outcome is that the puncher will be found not guilty because he had no intent to hurt anyone. It was just a spontaneous gesture brought on by indignation, spur of the moment-like. If I were his attorney, I would draw the jury’s attention to the fact that the puncher said right after the event, “We don’t know if he may be a member of ISIS,” not a completely sane remark, actually. It will be interesting to see if the punchee is eager to seek redress. On the one hand, he may be a squeaky clean honors student with no record at all. On the other hand, he may be a professional rioter with a jacket as long as a day in jail. If it’s the latter, the judge will forbid the punchers’ attorney from mentioning this fact to the jurors. The truth will get around, outside the courtroom, anyway. The punchee’s handlers would want to avoid this. And then, there is jury nullification. (Ask me whether you are American or a an overseas reader.)
In case there is a trial and the puncher is found guilty of something, the judge will have to be careful in sentencing him. Who wants a doddering old martyr who loves his country too much? Best give him a suspended sentence, I would think. And, the judge must absolutely resist the temptation to hit the culprit with a symbolic one dollar fine lest Trump supporters start lining up for what they will think is a cheap punch-a-leftist permit!
Many crocodile tears have been shed by white liberals and by the liberal press about the fact that the punchee is black. He was much more hurt by that single feeble punch than were the 106 Chicago black youths who were murdered by other young black people in Chicago since the beginning of the year, they think. Those are not really really dead, they will come back, they may come back, probably. The white-punched black punchee on the other hand was punched eternally, forever!
Now, I shouldn’t sound like I am making light here. I understand that physical violence within a political context is more worrisome than say, parking lot fistfights that go wrong or your run-of-the-mill crime of passion. Political violence, even it it’s slight has the potential to disrupt any system of government, even one that is fairly civilized such as ours in the US. But not all violence is equal. Some private violence is even protected under the law of most states.
According to CNN, the punchee, Mr Jones said the following after the incident,”The trend at all of these rallies has been if you’re not there to support him, get out of here,”
Yes, Mr Jones, that’s the idea. You were not invited! You crashed the party. When asked to leave, you are suppose to leave immediately. You have every right to seek redress for the punch but not for being made to feel unwelcome in a rally you tried to disrupt. You have no protected right to do that. You are confused, Mr Jones. You are not the only one; your teammates all are.
The young hard left, the old liberals and the pious press keep forgetting – actively forgetting – a simple fact: All the disrupters who were hurt (slightly in all cases) put themselves in a position where they were trying to stop speech, the speech of those they deem horrible, or objectionable, or anything at all. Our political tradition does not say that “speech should be allowed to proceed except from really bad people.” ! Liberal commentators. – there was one on my FB recently – want to argue that Mr Trump’s own crude threats are responsible for the disrupters’ coming into his rallies and trying to stop him from speaking. I don’t think that’s correct.
Suppose, I am talking to my wife with the window open. You happen to overhear me describing you as an A..-H… . Does this fact grand you permission to walk into the house through the back door and to yell at me to shut me up?
As I write (3/17/16) there have been no reported attempts to disrupt Sec. Clinton’s or Sen. Sanders’ meetings. No one had tried to stop them from speaking. At this point only a Trump rally had to be canceled because of threats. It’s only Republicans’ freedom of speech that was successfully infringed.
In the incident of record, from the standpoint of free speech, the victim is not the punchee but the puncher.
Now, at this point, have I said that the old puncher was right or within his rights? Have I said anything that excuses his pathetic violent behavior?
No one should be surprised about the political direction of the current violations of the right to speak freely. Opponents of the freedom to speak are usually on the left, in fact, they are almost always on the left. The Wall Street Journal (3/16/16) reports that Mr Obama’s Attorney General has referred to the FBI criminal investigative division a request to prosecute climate dissent. Would I make this up? Do I have the imagination?
With all this, I find no redeeming virtue in Mr Trump save one. He does not know what he is talking about much of the time. He does appeal to some of the worst instincts of America. The only thing going for him is that he is not Sen. Clinton. If he is president, he will probably not steal from us. Ms Clinton will, for sure.