Donald Trump

Violent Leftwing Students, Violent Trump Staffers: Both Bad

Radicals at the University of California at Berkeley should be ashamed.



Liberal student activists at the University of California at Berkeley recently disrupted a public event featuring Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, eventually storming the stage and assaulting a speaker, entrepreneur Marc Benioff. It was a depressing, despicable turn of events. 

As I argue in a recent column for The Daily Beast, activists on both the right and the left seem increasingly prone to censorship, and even violence: 

In an election season when U.S. political discourse has been profoundly damaged by an increasing contempt for free speech—both among the liberal hecklers who disrupt Donald Trump events, and among Trump's own supporters and campaign staffers, who respond with violence—it's more important than ever for universities to serve as bastions of tolerance and free expression. But if the episode at Berkeley is any evidence, universities have become breeding grounds for the illiberal values now permeating American society. … 

Politically engaged people of all stripes are turning their back on the most important right in American society: the right to speak without fear of violent repression. It is a terrible tragedy that we evidently cannot trust our public universities to serve as moral compasses leading us back toward civility. 

Read the full thing here.

NEXT: Reason Weekly Contest: Comfort the Emory University Students

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  1. …eventually storming the stage and assaulting a speaker, entrepreneur Marc Benioff.

    Che would have organized a firing squad, so relatively speaking…

  2. Muh moral equivalence

    1. Well, the campus leftists were engaging in their free speech by protesting speakers whose message, had they allowed it to be heard, would surely have been something they were against, and the Trumpeters were protesting, um, at their own event.

      1. Trumpeters were protesting, um, at their own event.

        uh, no they were engaging in hate speech which isn’t real speech and only the government can violate the first amendment so there’s absolutely no reason my air-horn is not valid

        1. There is NO exception for so-called “hate speech” under the First Amendment or American law. The distinction between “hate speech” and “real speech” is artificial and exceedingly dangerous. I would far rather tolerate hate speech, even by someone advocating on behalf of ISIS (for example), than give the government the authority to decide what is “real speech”.

          1. Please adjust your sarcasm meter…

        2. Lovely. So now somebody (Let’s assume Gilmore) decides what is real, protected speech and what is unprotected hate speech. Dumbfounded.

  3. Moral equivalence and a lack of alt-text. Exactly what we’ve all come to expect from you, Rico.

    1. I feel like Robby is literally committing violence against us.

    2. Those girls look too high class for Crusty,

      1. I don’t want no hoity-toity edjumacated chicks

      2. The one with the red lipstick who looks like the clown from It?

        1. We all float down here

    3. You don’t think that all-encompassing Leftist assault on all forms of non-PC opinion on hundreds of campuses, including our nation’s most influential centers of learning is equivalent to an old man losing his temper and throwing a punch at a political rally?

      Can’t you see that these are each exactly as threatening to the First Amendment?

  4. Damn it, I came here to joke about Robby and moral equivalence, but Acosmist was already here doing it unironically.


    1. Once again Robby proves he should be $hilling for some rag like Vox or National Review.

    2. Checkmate, atheists!

      1. I’m not sure Robby is an athiest. Do you think his hair could happen by chance?

        1. You’re right; even Hume would agree that a designer is required to explain that.

        2. Fabulous Design?

    3. There’s not much ironic about it. Comparing the censorship committed by the right versus left right now, as in recent years, is disingenuous.

      1. You mean because the left hasn’t made it illegal to be un-PC over the public airwaves, but the right long ago made it illegal to say naughty sexy words?

        Or because the left hasn’t made porn or family planning literature illegal, but the right had done so for decades?

        1. She thinks it’s cute to call progressives “the right”. Now wait for the obligatory “but they’d be the right now”

          1. What’s your timeframe on that? Social conservatives parted ways with the big-P Progressives in the ’40s and ’50s and were “the right” by the ’60s and definitely by the ’70s. Are you trying to claim that post-war obscenity laws and speech codes were the province of the left (as it was defined at the time)?

            1. Anti-family planning literature wasn’t illegal in the 60s or 70s. The FCC, and its ban on dirty words, was a FDR-created agency policy.

              1. It’s so cute how you make a distinction between the statist authoritarians on your TEAM versus the essentially identical statist authoritarians on the other TEAM. There’s really a difference! Really! Because TEAM!

          2. That’s cause the right (also known as compassionate conservatives) ARE progressives.

        2. Really? That was just the right alone that censors for violent/sexual content? Bullshit, Nikki. There were Democrats who have pushed the same nonsense to include the Clinton’s in the 90’s.

          I have no doubt that a Republican government will lead to a resurgence of right wing stupidity. Banning dirty words annoyed the shit out of me in the Bush years. Avid Howard Stern listener. It’s still not the equivalent of the nonsense coming from the left the last 8 years – much of which IS working its way up to government. Those special little snowflakes are the future bureaucrats and politicians, and you know it. This shit is worst in the ivy league mills that produce them.

          1. That was just the right alone that censors for violent/sexual content? Bullshit, Nikki. There were Democrats who have pushed the same nonsense to include the Clinton’s in the 90’s.

            But the Clintons are doubleplusgoodfulthinkers, so they get a pass.

            1. Tipper Gore. The Clintons you can at least play around with the excuse that they were appeasing social conservatives who had a hit out on them, but Tipper Gore absolutely reveled in being the nation’s dowdy, controlling babysitter.

              1. By God, a most excellent use of “dowdy” – Point awarded.

          2. I remember when evil conservative Tipper Gore was trying to censor my rock lyrics. Oh, wait….

        3. Campaign finance reform and the ESRB – just another sad entry in the long legacy of right wing censorship under color of law.

          1. Yea, I’m supposed to ignore that the left actually proposed amending the first, and both candidates are on a crusade to reverse Citizen’s United.

            1. Perhaps if we got a set of scales, and we put the evils of the left on one side and evils of the right on the other we would finally be able to tell which one we should all be supporting.

        4. the right long ago made it illegal to say naughty sexy words?


        5. “… but the right had done so for decades?”

          If you are arguing against Warren G Harding, then I guess your progressive champion is Woodrow Wilson.

          But perhaps we should stick to issues that have mattered in our own lifetimes, … or even the last few years.

        6. So, lefty feminists aren’t assaulting the porn industry in California? Leftist public figures didn’t attack AMnesty International for having the gall to support legalizing voluntary prostitution?

          Right wind puritans are still around, yeah, but if someone these days wants to banish sex in general, chances are it’s a left-wing feminist rather than an evangelical (who at least favor marital sex). Face it, Catherine MacKinnon makes any Evangelical look like High Heffner.

      2. “The right” or people involved with Trump?

        Or are we going to do the “punching out a handcuffed dude is fine because his presence at a Trump rally was equivalent to violence or something *waves hands desperately*” thing?

          1. He violated the safe space of everyone there. Sucker-punching him and then threatening to kill the next one was totally a measured response.

        1. One guy sucker punching a protester at a rally = the countless events we’ve seen across college campuses? Calling Robbie’s mealymouthed bullshit for what it is doesn’t equate to condoning that or the other events at Trump rallies. That also doesn’t justify a bland statement that at this point in time the right and left are the exact same threat to free speech.

          The left is going after political speech and trying to silence dissent where they can. They are doing it far more often. That’s why people call bullshit on Robbie and label this a false equivalency.

          1. The violence at Trump rallies, for starters, has been from both the progs and the Trumpalos. Don’t attribute it all to the Trumpalos.

            The Trumpalo violence, whatever rhetorical support it gets from Trump, is not institutionalized policy. The censorship at colleges is, and the violence that it engenders gets far more tolerance from the institution than it should for this reason.

            Except at the orbital level of “Violence and censorship bad, mmkay”, equivalence fail.

          2. “The left is going after political speech and trying to silence dissent where they can. They are doing it far more often. That’s why people call bullshit on Robbie and label this a false equivalency.”

            Understated but basically correct.

  5. Institutions funded by the boot become the servitors of the boot.

  6. it’s more important than ever for universities to serve as bastions of tolerance and free expression

    It was a good one!

  7. …eventually storming the stage and assaulting a speaker, entrepreneur Marc Benioff.

    We clearly don’t have enough guns on campus.

  8. If they are violent, they are not liberals but conservatives by definition.


    1. It is justified to use violence against your oppressors (straight white men), because they implicitly commit violence against you every day.

      /Better Tony

  9. the illiberal values now permeating American society

    But…but…but Weed, Mexicans and Ass-Sex!

    1. In the spirit of Good Friday, this is more like the vinegar/gall mix they offered the good JC while he was on the cross.

      1. So Los Doyers how we all be so darn “socially liberal” and at the same have “illiberal values” “permeating” society?

        1. Damn it:

          So Los Doyers how *can* we all be so darn “socially liberal” and at the same *time* have “illiberal values” “permeating” society?

          1. I dunno. Maybe sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll?

  10. both among the liberal hecklers who disrupt Donald Trump events, and among Trump’s own supporters and campaign staffers, who respond with violence

    sure, totally the same thing. This is the sort of reasoning that comes from the zero tolerance-promoting educrats and a bad parody of Buckley’s story of people pushing little old ladies.

    1. Some people would read that as the latter being worse, you know. Because disruptions aren’t necessarily violent.

      1. Look, when you disrupt something, anything, you get whatever violence is coming your way. Because America.

      2. most people would see instigation as worse than retaliation. Have you seen all those disruptions at Bernie or Hillary events? Me, either. Or the roadblocks leading to their events.

        1. most people would see instigation as worse than retaliation

          True. If I punch a dude and he knocks me out cold, I totally deserved it, and he didn’t act optimally, but was well within his rights. If I tell a man that his mother is fat and he beats me to a bloody pulp, a lot fewer people are going to see that as reasonable.

          1. he may well be unreasonable, but at least as many people would ask you were thinking. Provoking someone is seldom a good idea.

            1. Provoking someone is seldom a good idea.

              Yeah, those people that drew Muhammad totally had it coming.

              1. context. Look into it. Lots of caricatures of Trump, of Cruz, or Obama, or Hillary; no calls for violence resulting. Hmmm.

                1. Ah, so there are just different levels of what you consider to be speech/disruption/provocation that deserve a violent response. Good to know.

                  1. never said a word about deserve. Try again. I am calling bullshit on this nonsensical false equivalence this article tries to draw. The left actively tries to shut down speech it doesn’t like; plenty of articles here have noted that. Comparing a couple of yahoos at a Trump event who take exception to disruption to calculated efforts to disrupt is more than a bit disingenuous.

            2. No you’re totally right, I forgot that we lived in a Bedouin honor culture. My bad.

              1. right. Totally what I said. Seems the site needs to reconsider its name.

                1. Sorry, I thought that was implied since the person who has beaten me to a bloody pulp may be unreasonable in his response to a your momma’s so fat joke, but ya’ had it coming, so whatever scenario. Maybe I said his momma was REALLY fat.

                  1. there are alternatives between alcoholism and prohibition. So the guy shoves you down instead of beating the hell out of you. A good many folks would still ask what you were thinking. Don’t play the victim here.

                    1. Who is playing victim? I take issue with the fact that you think that physical violence is an acceptable though not preferable response not just to a physical threat or the initiation of physical violence but of hurt feelings.

                    2. Not being a dick is usually good policy. I find it curious that you have more issue with the person being screwed with than with the one trying to start shit. You have no idea how someone will respond to something. Some will walk away, others will insult back, and there are some who go physical. And don’t put words in my mouth – i didn’t say “acceptable” or okay or whatever. But it is among the potential outcomes.

                    3. No, I have more issue with the person initiating physical violence. I find it curious that you rhetorically skirt the fact that that person is taking it from a verbal confrontation to a physical one.

                      You describe the person initiating violence in the passive voice “the person being screwed with” and the instigator as being active voice “trying to start shit”.

                      I agree, not being a dick is a good policy, so is not responding to emotional slights with physical violence.

                      And as for putting words in people’s mouths I think the instigator in this scenario is being a dick. I think both people in this scenario need better things to do with their lives, but I’m trying to tease out where you draw a certain moral line, so please and thank you, don’t imply that I’m magically in favor of going out and harassing people.

            3. If nothing else, instigation nets out against retaliation, so the retaliation is less bad.

              At some point, the only way to shut down proggy heckler veto protests is to lay hands on them. They won’t leave when asked, so you either lay hands on them (violence) or they win.

              I think laying hands on them is fully justified to shut down a heckler’s veto.

              1. Not a heckler’s veto. I’d just call it harassment, though that’s kind of a loaded and abused word too. But clearly is someone harasses you severely enough, they will cross a line where you are justified in using force to stop them. If a sucker punch is gratuitously included in that justified use of force, well we should cluck our tongues and suggest people not be so enthusiastic in their pursuit of a resolution the injustice next time.

        2. “Most people” say things like “two wrongs don’t make a right,” and many don’t believe it’s right to respond to nonviolence with violence.

          Yes, I have seen disruptions at Bernie and Hillary events.

          1. But Nicole, when someone disrupts *my* event, *that’s* violent. When I disrupt *their* event, it’s not violent. Understand now?

            1. But Nicole, when someone disrupts *my* event, *that’s* violent. When I disrupt *their* event, it’s not violent.

              said no one but you

              1. Define “instigation”, then.

                1. If you’re going about your business and I jump in your face to try and goad you, that would be instigation, no?

                  1. Can I punch you for that? Why the fuck are you asking me if that’s instigation? I asked *you*, because you hinged your initial argument on it. Do you have a fucking answer or not?

                    1. The question was rhetorical. Good grief. If I jump in your face, I’m harassing you, fucking with you, whatever, then playing the victim is weak sauce.

                      What you said was that it’s okay for one side to disrupt but not for the other side. I neither said nor implied that.

                    2. So…total evasion of the question,then. Which is exactly what I expected.

                    3. The answer was crystal fucking clear. Instigation is you starting shit or trying to start it. Don’t act like a victim if they don’t like being screwed with.

                    4. So we’re going in circles. Either define “starting shit”–which is just “instigation” with other words–or seriously shut the fuck up. Your mendacious evasiveness is pathetic.

                    5. Um… did you really expect a force-initiating conservative to handle abstractions well enough to frame a useful definition? If they could do that they’s be able to make sense, convince others, and not even need to hunt for excuses to resort to violence.

                2. Narrowing one’s gaze. Narrow your gaze at me and it’s practically rape and I will defend myself with lethal force if necessary.

          2. two wrongs don’t make a right, but I tend to hold the person instigating a confrontation to a higher standard. If you’re minding your own business and I get in your face, it’s a bit much for me to act the victim if you take exception to my behavior. And the disruptions with Bernie and Herself tend to be from black lives people, not Trump or Cruz supporters.

            1. And, the proggies set up this dilemma:

              If you don’t drag them out, they win. So if you say that you can never lay hands on a protestor, you are ceding the field to them. Personally, I think its quite foolish and counterproductive to do so.

              1. when your point is to piss people off, don’t play the victim. This would be the case if Trumpkins were blocking traffic to Bernie/Hillary events, or populating the audience with hecklers.

          3. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but sometimes that second wrong is oh so emotionally satisfying.

          4. Here again is the force of the LP. When George Orwell attended a Mosley (fascist republican) rally thugs patrolled to rough up anyone asking “awkward questions.” European communists and fascists routinely smashed up each others’ meetings with knives, bottles, guns and clubs. The very thought of Libertarian Party posters splashed with photos exploiting this predilection for the initiation of force has probably robbed many a hospital intern of the chance to practice trephining, and generally been a wet blanket on what was once a boisterous rough-and-tumble sport.

            1. “Fascist republican”? Contradiction in terms, at the very least. Try again

        3. Black Lives Matter hit Bernie pretty hard.

  11. Politically engaged people of all stripes are turning their back on the most important right in American society: the right to speak without fear of violent repression.

    Haters have no rights. They’re unpersons.

    1. More like they?ve waived them. In court people waive rights by affirmation. In real life they waive them by violating those of others. This is why we keep hangmen on the payroll.

      1. So, wrongspeak implicitly waves one’s right not to be beaten bloody or killed? I know you’re one of our resident looneys but please, take your meds.

  12. That girl has a standing invitation to my rainbow party.

    1. Can I come? (not as a rainbow maker)

  13. Soave Thinks that BOAK LARNING IZ 4 MORANS AND FAGS/Warty

    1. Are you one of the Gallo brothers? You have more whine than anyone I know.

  14. Michelle Fields, who was recently assaulted not by liberal protesters, but by a member of the Donald Trump campaign.

    If Robbie went to Columbia they would have taught him to say “allegedly”.

    1. There’s probably video I haven’t seen, but what I have seen strikes me as well within bounds for a crowded press scrum. Lewandowski didn’t even break stride, and Fields doesn’t react like she just go attacked by someone. In that kind of situation, grabbing someone’s arm to get them out of the way may technically be “assault”, but unlike what Melissa Click did, isn’t inappropriate in context.

      The pic of the bruise on her arm is about the only fly in this ointment. Lewandowski may have grabbed her harder than he needed to.

      1. Miss Fields reacted after the situation more like a campaign operative than a reporter.

        1. I WANT TO BELIEVE

      2. “what I have seen strikes me as well within bounds for a crowded press scrum.”
        But this just proves that crowded press conferences are RAPE KULTURE!

    2. “had gone” as in: If Robbie had been a YAFfer at Columbia they would have taught him perfect tenses.

  15. Violent Trump Staffers.

    Even with a mean old bruise on a girl’s arm, how did that get to be plural?

    Just more bullshit? That’s what I thought.

    1. Yeah, the sheer dishonesty of the anti-Trump articles among the punditry are pushing me to support him.

  16. Recently, at the University of California-Davis, pro-choice protesters disrupted a pro-life demonstration by confiscating their flyers and throwing them on the ground.

    This again? One asshole swiping A pile of paper off a table hardly constitutes, multiple protesters confiscating and then throwing. If you gotta exaggerate and mis-describe events to make your point you probably need to find different evidence.

    1. No, she didn’t do much harm.

      But the fact that she did it with impunity, with campus police right there, police who questioned her and had witnesses to her vandalism, that speaks volumes.

      If you can steal with a cop at your elbow, you have sent the message that the rules do not protect your political opponents and you are untouchable.

      1. Isn’t that what they call that ‘privilege.’

  17. disrupting an event and preventing a speech is not free speech. Those hecklers at Trump events were not engaging in free speech, but disrupting the event and preventing others from speaking and more from hearing. Again, there’s no right to do that.

    That some of the people at the event took offense to the disruptions and punched some dumbfuck in his grill is understandable and probably laudable on certain levels. But that’s one isolated incident.

    Even if that is “bad” is nothing in comparison to the incident after incident for the last few decades of left wingers disrupting events, prevent free speech and going full brownshirt on people just for fucking have a different opinion. The sides are not equivalent here. That we’re seeing some Trump supporters fight back when their events are being disrupted is over fucking due. We’re going to see more of it, before we see less. People can protest, but when you prevent speech and disrupt events with your own unprotected behavior, you deserve a punch in the face. At a minimum.

    1. “People can protest, but when you prevent speech and disrupt events with your own unprotected behavior, you deserve a punch in the face to be forcibly removed.

      It’s trespassing and disorderly conduct. The event organizer should have the right to the time/space to speak without interruption. And the host site and speaker should be able to enforce this. Maybe Trump needs to hire more security.

  18. God.

    You’re supposed to vote on the violence.

    Not do it yourself.

    It’s like these people just don’t get the point of modern society.

  19. Because this whole aggressive political disagreement is a totally new concept.

    This kind of thing always reminds me that journalists are on average 12 years old and have never read a history book.

  20. Michelle Fields claimed she was violently thrown to the floor by Lewandowski, which was proven false by video tape. However it does appear he JOSTLED her, like the RIGHT-WING HATE MACHINE he truly is. In the future this incident will be remembered as our kristallnacht.

  21. Robby demonstrates the pitfalls that beset conservatives using the language of coercion. By calling looters “liberals” when progressives, redistributionists, lay socialists, boodlers, pelf poachers, pickpockets, mixed-economy statists, parasites, or thieves, the cognitive disconnect is already set up for a pratfall. Conservatives, we all understand, are race-baiting, opportunistic, looters, prohibitionists and mystical bigots–no ambiguity there. Both camps assert that freedom is a divisible carcass and both viciously defend the initiation of force as necessary, practical and good. So of course they are at each others’ throats!

  22. Sometimes man I really gotta wonder about that. Wow.

  23. The left engages in all all-out assault on free speech in the form of campus speech codes, campaign finance “reform,” boycotts of intransigent businesses and states and firing, ostracism of intransigent individuals.

    But the usual leftist weasels have done a good job changing the subject from this threat to our society to whether an old man was justified in taking a swing at a political provocateur at a Trump rally.

    Now one old Trumpeter represents the right’s great threat to free speech? LOL.

    1. You forgot the repeatedly trotted out threats to right wing talk radio in the form of federal legislation and FCC regulations. So far they’ve been beaten back every time, but the left keeps coming after them, looking to keep the trees equal by hatchet, ax and saw….

  24. “activists on both the right and the left”

    And yet, the only examples available involve the left. There is no requirement to make up shit just to achieve the vaunted goal of moral equivalence.

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  26. I’ve seen video on YouTube that completely debunks the Fields “assault” claim. Is that the best moral equivalence you can make, Soave?

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