John McGraw is now the face of the Donald Trump movement, whether Donald Trump likes it or not. This 78 year old North Carolinian is an angry, old white male. Taking Trump's wish that he could punch protesters in the face to heart, McGraw saw his chance last night when the usual delegation of protesters was getting escorted out of a Fayetteville venue. I'll let InsideEdition tell the rest.
Dismiss David Duke and his ilk if you will, but I think Trump does have to repudiate this guy, or at least what he did. Trump and his people may resent hecklers, and others besides them may resent these hecklers' agenda, but unless you're going to buy into the dubious idea of "free speech zones" you have to concede that democracy comes with a certain amount of confrontation. People want the powerful to hear them, and that means getting in their faces in a sometimes obnoxious way. But no matter how obnoxious they get, it's the first person who resorts to violence who loses. McGraw hasn't made his hero's life any easier, since people already suspect Trump and his followers of "fascist" tendencies, and Trump himself has shown an impatience with dissent. To an extent I can empathize with him -- Trump, that is, and not McGraw. The hecklers clearly don't go to his rallies to give Trump a fair hearing; they clearly have a set notion of what he's about and they don't like it. Trump has a right to feel that his own rights are being violated, but the sort of dissent he's encountering should be taken seriously as a warning, just like the dissent authorities try to restrict to "free speech zones" wherever the WTO or the G8 gathers. It may be bad form for some people not to listen respectfully to Trump, but if the rest of us are obliged to respect the anger behind the Trump movement, then Trump as a candidate for elected office has an even greater obligation not to ignore people's anger at him or wish it beaten into submission. Despite his self-proclaimed outsider status, he is exactly the sort of power to whom all should be free, or should have the courage, to speak the truth as they see it.