There were two Donald Trump rallies in Orange County, California last night.
One of them was in the Orange County Amphitheater, where Trump spoke before a packed house. It probably did not win very many votes, because the vast majority of attendees were already supporting him.
The other was outside the amphitheater, where protesters, by their actions, probably won Mr. Trump a great many more votes.
Excerpted from Ruben Vives, Matt Pearce and Matt Hamilton’s article at the Los Angeles Times:
Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where Donald Trump held a rally Thursday night, stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.
Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car.
“Dump the Trump,” said one sign. Another protester scrawled anti-Trump messages onto Costa Mesa police cruisers.
“I’m protesting because I want equal rights for everybody, and I want peaceful protest,” said 19-year-old Daniel Lujan, one of hundreds in a crowd that appeared to be mostly Latinos in their late teens and 20s.
Video footage showed some anti-Trump demonstrators hurling debris at a passing pickup. One group of protesters carried benches and blocked the entrance to the 55 Freeway along Newport Boulevard, with some tossing rocks at motorists near the on-ramp.
Donald Trump wants a stop to illegal immigration and a wall between the United States and Mexico to prevent it.
Presumably, the mostly-Latino protesters were rioting because they are against Trump’s position.
Voters who support Trump are certainly not going to be dissuaded by what happened last night. If anything, they are likely support him even more strongly.
I would like to think that some people who are against Trump’s position are embarrassed by the riot. But I assume that they are still against Trump’s position.
Now: what about the people who are on the fence – either not sure of which way to go policy-wise, or supportive of Trump’s position but not of Trump himself?
When they look at what happened outside that amphitheater, who are they more likely to sympathize with? Who are they more likely to gravitate toward? Trump, making his case? Or violent anarchists damaging property and attacking police – neither of which have a thing to do with Trump or his position on illegal immigration?
These protesters/vandals/rioters may not realize it, but by their actions outside the pro-Trump rally, they held another pro-Trump rally – and, of the two, probably the more beneficial of them.
It seems to me that Donald Trump owes these violent protesters a debt of gratitude.
And a judge owes them a sentence.