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Past and Present

Past & Present: Trump-Predicted Riots Would Be History-Repeating


A year ago, no one would have believed that Donald Trump would be the GOP front-runner this far into the primary season. Yet, fact can be stranger than fiction, and this improbable reality has prompted an increasing call within the Republican Party to block Trump’s quest for the party’s presidential nomination. For his part, Trump has warned that, if he’s denied the nomination through a contested Republican National Convention in July, there could be riots in response.

While much of the Trump campaign is characterized by bombastic rhetoric, his assertion about possible violence, if he’s not the GOP nominee, is seemingly borne out by history.


The 1968 Democratic National Convention, convened in Chicago, featured violence directly associated with the nominating process employed at that meeting. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who secured the Democratic nomination for president, did so without actively campaigning during the primary. In fact, the majority of delegates at this convention were chosen by party insiders. Thus, when Humphrey easily secured the nomination on the first ballot, it enraged those who denounced Humphrey’s association with the Vietnam War. Subsequent scenes of protestor anger, met with an excessive police response, remain etched in the historical memory of this event.

Considering the violence already associated with Trump’s presidential run, one can only imagine what his supporters will do if he is, indeed, denied the GOP nomination.