MoveOn.org was flying high after violent protests forced the cancellation of Donald Trump’s planned rally in Chicago last Friday. An emboldened Ilya Sheyman, the executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, crowed in a statement:
“Mr. Trump and the Republican leaders who support him and his hate-filled rhetoric should be on notice after tonight’s events. These protests are a direct result of the violence that has occurred at Trump rallies and that has been encouraged by Trump himself from the stage. Our country is better than the shameful, dangerous, and bigoted rhetoric that has been the hallmark of the Trump campaign.”
But that’s nothing but codswallop, according to one award-winning journalist and author.
“The MoveOn director’s pious statement is total BS,” said David Kupelian, author of “The Snapping of the American Mind.” “The left prides itself on shutting down free speech with which it disagrees whenever and wherever possible. Trump’s boisterous speech has nothing to do with it – the proof of which is that the left constantly disrupts and shuts down speeches by conservatives and Republicans and even pro-Israel speakers on college campuses all across the country. It happens constantly; even the most ‘civil’ and ‘mild-mannered’ conservatives are violently shut down.”
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president of the Capital Research Center, noted Sheyman’s threat to put Trump and his supporters “on notice.”
“On notice that they’re going to send their thugs over and there’s bound to be physical confrontations,” Vadum remarked.
Sheyman’s statement continued:
“To all of those who took to the streets of Chicago, we say thank you for standing up and saying enough is enough. To Donald Trump, and the GOP, we say, welcome to the general election. Trump and those who peddle hate and incite violence have no place in our politics and most certainly do not belong in the White House.”
Vadum scolded MoveOn for boasting about the Trump cancellation.
“It’s really disturbing that the media and activists from MoveOn think that shutting down the debate, shutting down the opposition, preventing people in the political party they don’t like from speaking is an example of legitimate political activism,” he told WND. “It certainly is not.”
Vadum speculated if conservative protesters were to violently shut down a left-winger’s speech, the mainstream media would hurl all kinds of accusations about “civil rights violations” and suppression of free speech.
“And yet when left-wingers silence conservatives, it’s treated as an example of noble high-minded activism,” Vadum said. “It’s really disgusting.”
MoveOn.org is a left-wing advocacy group founded in 1998 with the initial purpose of trying to pressure Congress to censure President Bill Clinton and “move on” instead of impeaching him for the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Since then, they have taken up the mantle of “progressive” causes. MoveOn includes a “Political Action” organization that focuses on electing liberal candidates and a “Civic Action” organization that mobilizes left-wing activists at the grassroots level, as they did with the anti-Trump Chicago protests. Far left activist and billionaire George Soros is the group’s most prominent financial backer.
Vadum, who wrote about left-wing pressure groups in his book “Subversion, Inc.,” said MoveOn.org is not one of the most radical leftist groups, but they are very powerful and distasteful to conservatives.
“I wouldn’t put them over there with Communists and so on, but they strike me as pretty mainstream progressives,” he said. “Now mainstream progressives are well to the left of most of the country, and progressivism’s ultimate goal is to transform America into a country we don’t recognize and that conservatives and freedom-loving people would not like. So they have bad ideas.”
Kupelian offered nary a kind word for MoveOn.
“MoveOn is the private activist army of billionaire George Soros, one of the most malevolent far-left power players of our time,” he said. “Those on the left may regard MoveOn as fighting for justice, but to the broad, center-right, American middle class, their brand of activism is all about creating strife – whether political, economic or racial – in order to shift the nation even further leftward.”
Although Trump publicly laid blame for the protests on Bernie Sanders supporters, MoveOn still took offense, perhaps because MoveOn endorsed Sanders for president. In another statement released Saturday, Sheyman said:
“Like so much of what Donald Trump says, his attempt to scapegoat progressive activists and MoveOn.org for violence at his canceled rally in Chicago is profoundly dishonest and untrue.”
Sheyman then reiterated MoveOn played a significant role in the protest:
“MoveOn proudly supported University of Illinois at Chicago students and local organizers in their courageous nonviolent protest outside the event. We helped student leaders by printing signs and recruiting MoveOn members to attend the student-led protest.”
Then he turned around and blamed Trump:
“But let’s be clear about one thing, the protest Friday night was a direct result of the violence that has occurred at Trump rallies and that has been repeatedly encouraged by Trump himself from the stage. There is only one person to blame for the chaotic and often violent nature of Trump rallies: Donald J. Trump.”
Kupelian said this is a perfect example of liberal agitation.
“This is how the left works,” he explained. “First it creates chaos, then it blames the victim of the chaos. In this case, MoveOn encouraged left-wing thugs to deprive Trump supporters of their First Amendment free speech rights by attempting to disrupt or shut down a legal event – and then they blame Trump and his supporters.”
As Vadum pointed out, some leftists also argued Trump should have known ahead of time he wouldn’t be welcomed in Chicago, so blame rests with him for trying to hold a rally there.
“They say that by defying them, by coming to Chicago knowing that it’s a hotbed of left-wing radicalism, that he caused, he forced them to riot,” Vadum said. “That’s just insane. You don’t force somebody to riot by showing up and expressing yourself. That doesn’t make any sense, but it’s this sort of twisted logic the left operates on.”
Not only did MoveOn claim credit for the protests and blame Trump, but the organization also tried to raise funds off its success in stopping the Trump event. According to the Washington Times, MoveOn.org sent an email to members Saturday asking them to donate $3 toward the anti-Trump effort.
Stating that “we refuse to be intimidated by Donald Trump, Fox News, or anyone else,” MoveOn promised more protests were on the way and asked members for their financial contributions.
“So here’s the plan: We’ll support MoveOn.org members to call out and nonviolently protest Trump’s racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic, and violent behavior – and show the world that America rejects Trump’s hate,” the email read. “And to keep it going, we’re counting on you to donate whatever you can to cover the costs of everything involved – the organizers, signs, online recruitment ads, training, and more.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, a prominent message at the top of the MoveOn.org homepage asked visitors to “Join our nonviolent campaign standing up for love and democracy, and against Trump’s bigotry and incitement, by making a contribution today.” This was followed by a link to the page where people can make an online donation to “Stand Up to Trump.”
Vadum remarked, “They’re trying to raise money off the fact that they’re using fascist tactics. It’s a scary time for America right now. I’m not surprised they would try to take advantage of the current tumult to make a fast buck. It’s just like one of their big funders, George Soros. He’s quite content to cause anarchy if he’s going to turn a quick profit.”
Kupelian, for his part, scoffed that MoveOn was “attempting to elicit sympathy and to raise money over [the protests], as though they were the victims, and not the perpetrators.”
Perusing MoveOn.org, one sees an emphasis on things like “progressive change,” giving “real Americans” a voice in politics, and reducing the power of “big money” and “corporate lobbyists.” One thing the organization does not stand for, according to Vadum, is free speech.
“They only support free speech for the left,” Vadum said.
Reflecting on MoveOn’s anti-Trump efforts in Chicago, Kupelian agreed the group is all about free speech for itself, but not for the right.
“This is what the left does,” he said. “It is totalitarian by nature and somehow sees nothing wrong or un-American about depriving others of their constitutional rights, including the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.”