World·CBC Forum

Who's to blame for the violence in the U.S. election campaign?

Scuffles involving protesters or reporters at Donald Trump's rallies have become increasingly common as the Republican front-runner attempts to close in on the party nomination. Who's to blame for the violence in the U.S. election campaign?

Clashes between protesters and Donald Trump supporters increasingly violent

U.S. Secret Service agents detained a man this weekend after a disturbance in Ohio as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was speaking. (William Philpott/Reuters)

Scuffles involving protesters or reporters at Donald Trump's rallies have become increasingly common as the Republican front-runner attempts to close in on the party nomination.

A Friday rally had to be scrapped in Chicago, after scuffles broke out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate. 

Trump's Republican rivals have hurled scorn at the New York billionaire, saying he helped create the atmosphere that is now sweeping the race for the White House with his fiery rhetoric.

Trump blamed supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for the Chicago cancellation.

There have been other recent incidents of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about security leading into the Nov. 8 election.

Who's to blame for U.S. election violence?

Readers let us know in the latest CBC Forum — a live, hosted event about topics of national and international interest. 

(Please note that user names are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the user name to see the comment in the blog format.)

Donald Trump (the most common answer)

"He has given the dirty underbelly of society a place to come and be freely racist and bigoted." — Alipsettphoto

"​Donald Trump has flushed out all the racism that still exists in the U.S., which previously only existed as the 'silent majority.' Now they have a leader — a demagogue. Never seen since George Wallace." — Casstaway

"I think when Trump starts talking about possibly paying the legal fees of his supporters he is implicitly endorsing conflict." — Archanea

The protesters

"What is their goal when they show up at a rally? Surely they don't think they will be able to sway the opinions of the people there, so it must be to stir up trouble and provoke people into lashing out." — Larissa

​"Freedom of speech does not mean that you are allowed to rudely or violently disrupt someone's event. Retort afterwards after you've let them had their say. Fight back if they're committing a crime. But if they haven't even gotten a chance to say anything nor have they actually done anything bad, then it's not right." — Hello /pol/

The elite

"Trump is merely taking advantage of discontent that has been festering, but is now bubbling to the surface. He is an opportunist and in my view devoid of scruples, but he didn't create the situation. It is too easy to just call the Trump supporters hateful and racist. They have been victimized by a system that turns everyone and everything into a commodity and are lashing out. Unfortunately they are lashing out at those who are as much victims as they are, but those are the people that they coexist with. They never see any rich plutocrats (except on TV)." — Grey Wolf

The Republican Party

"The blame for much of this falls to the Reagan era, where the GOP decided that they would pander to the evangelical right wing, and ever since, they've been held hostage by that minority group of voters." — Adrian Johansson

You can read the complete discussion below.

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With files from Reuters