King: Trump rally cancellation impedes on first amendment rights


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

Trump changed his position on almost every major policy issue in the political sphere.

Scott King

If you had been paying attention to the controversy and violence that have been occurring at Donald Trump’s rallies this year, then you probably weren’t surprised when protests got so out of control last week in Chicago that Trump’s rally was canceled. Protesters surrounded and gathered within the arena where the candidate was going to appear. Tensions were high between Trump supporters and protesters and some violence broke out which is what led to the cancellation. 

I am not a Trump supporter, but I also don’t think that protesters in Chicago should be proud that their actions stopped the rally.  Essentially, they exercised their first amendment rights – freedom of speech – in order to impede someone else’s first amendment rights. To have gathered outside the arena voicing their opinions and holding signs would have been a more respectable way to participate in American democracy. Instead, they used the fear of violence – which eventually led to actual violence – to accomplish their goals. 

I do, however, think it’s fair to note that Donald Trump may be playing a role in amount of violence and chaos that continuously erupt at his rallies.  About protesters, he has said things like “I’ll be a little more violent” and “maybe he should have been roughed up.”  He has also encouraged his fans to punch people under certain circumstances. I think comments like that create an atmosphere among both supporters and protesters that is likely to lead to more violence. 

Once again, I am not a fan of Trump, but unfortunately people need to let him participate in democracy as a presidential candidate, as is his right as an American.  Those opposed to his intentions for this country can certainly protest him, but protesters should be more aware than anyone that freedom of speech should be protected in all cases.