As I mentioned, my parents peacefully protested outside Trump's rally in North Carolina on Monday morning along with a couple hundred other folks, mostly from the area's interfaith council (my family is Catholic). Chuck Pierce agrees with that, as feeding the Trump monster inside his rallies only makes him more powerful.
Stay out of the buildings.
Stop being played for such suckers. Stop enlisting yourself in his bloody vaudeville. Stop giving him stuff to lie about at all the rallies that actually do end up happening. Stop making yourselves part of the show, because it's not working. It doesn't affect him at all. In fact, his campaign gains strength from it, like some science-fiction monster that absorbs the energy of whatever attacks it and then uses it to destroy. It doesn't gain you any allies; as should be clear by most of the meeping responses from the elite political press, the best it can get you is lectures about how Both Sides in our politics should settle down and let cooler heads ponder impotently about How We Got To This Point. That discussion never quite comes around to the simple, obvious fact that the Republican Party ate the monkeybrains 30 years ago and that the prion disease it thereby acquired is now cascading through its higher functions. That there is even one allegedly serious person taking seriously the allegedly serious argument that the president is somehow at fault for how the Republican madness is acting out in public is a measure of how far the disease has progressed, and of the spavined state of our institutional immunity to it.
He's got a point. Trump came to power because our media wants to feed him. Trump sells because violence sells. Don't give him the fuel for the fire. Chicago was playing right into his hands.
All that having been said, what happened in Chicago over the weekend was tactically stupid. Yes, the rally was "shut down." Hurrah. Yes, it prompted an orgy of thumb-sucking and chin-stroking in which some people, like kindly Doc Maddow, actually pointed out the obvious truth that a madman now has more delegates to the Republican National Convention than does anyone else. And, yes, it scared the piss out of the big bag of feathers that is Marco Rubio, but he stopped quaking long enough to blame the president for "dividing Americans," which is plainly idiotic. And let's all stipulate that chanting for Bernie Sanders while you're shutting down a Trump rally is just about as stupid a political move as there is.
In terms of tangible political gain, the disruption of Trump's rally was a failure, which was obvious if you watched the coverage of his subsequent rallies in Missouri and Ohio. He feeds on this stuff, and so do his crowds.
My suggestion? Create a wave of non-violent protest outside the arenas. Close the streets. Fill the jails, if you must. Force the media coverage, which shouldn't be all that hard at this point. But stay out of the buildings because you can do no good in there. It gives aid and comfort to the forces you are trying to defeat, and it gives a timorous elite political press an excuse to look the other way, and it gives the other candidates from a party that long ago descended into madness one more hallucination to justify why it's eating bugs in public.
Stay out of the buildings. Decline to audition for a part in the freak show. Silent witness can be the most powerful kind there is.
To an extent, that's what happened in NC Monday morning. The interfaith protesters, including my parents, stayed outside Trump's reach and Trump's crowds and protested peacefully outside. There needs to be more of that, much more, with much larger crowds. We know the way to deal with Trump, the Civil Rights movement showed us the way 50 years ago. The Village wants it to be "Bernie's hippies versus Trump's hardhats." Don't give it to them.
I hope more people heed that advice.