If I tried, I could not care less what Donald Trump says as a private citizen; but Donald Trump, the candidate, is not speaking as a private citizen. Donald Trump is speaking as a public, political figure, and it is because of this fact, that I insist we all hold him to a higher standard. What at first glance appears to be a troubling dilemma: citizen's competing rights of free speech and assembly -- is not. It is an opportunity. It is an opportunity of choice. We can choose to give in to our own base instincts and passions -- to our own irrational fears, and anger; or we can choose to appeal to the “better angels of our nature.” Therefore this written piece. It sickens me to think some people who I know, who I may love, who I respect, and even admire -- give Donald Trump a pass, on refusing to condemn physical violence at political events. What kind of mind refuses to condemn physical violence at political events? What kind of political candidate thinks this is a wise way to lead? What kind of followers believe, physical violence is the answer? My liberal principles, compel me to defend Donald Trump’s right to be a public jerk. I suffer no illusions: it is not my intent, to attempt to change anybody’s mind, about wanting to vote for or against a particular candidate. Just as I have a right to protest with speech, by calling a presidential candidate a jerk; Donald Trump, as well as anyone else for that matter -- has every right to be a jerk. We all have a right to do this without the fear of being arrested and thrown in jail -- or worse; the protesters inside of Trump rallies, have a right to be jerks, without fear of being being arrested and thrown in jail -- or worse. “What could this worse be” you ask? Being punched, beaten, and kicked for the simple act of protesting; or being, or calling somebody a jerk. American tradition and law is that everyone has a right to speak -- even and especially, if their speech is ugly, distasteful, and offensive. And believe me, It is not only the manner and style of Trump's speaking that personally offends me so much, it is often the content of his speech. I find much of what Donald Trump says as a political candidate, to be ugly, distasteful, and offensive. I know the venues are hosting public events, and some of the protesters are legitimately using this as an argument to be allowed to protest inside. This sort of public protest is an American tradition. Yet, any protest that attempts to shout down speech, should be anathema to our sense of right and wrong -- just as hateful, bigoted speech is. Two wrongs do not make a right. If you disagree with me here, you will find yourself on my side when the day comes -- and it surely will -- when it is you who are the one being denied the right to speak freely -- and to be heard. It is a truism that -- what goes around, comes around. The protests outside of Trump’s rallies and events have started getting out of hand. There is no justifiable enough argument for these protests to be viewed as legitimate, political protests, simply because they have not become as violent as those inside. It is American tradition and law, that everyone has a right to travel freely to and from a political event. The road blocking stunts are not designed to send a political message to the general public, they are designed to target a specific group of citizens. Nothing Donald Trump, or any of his supporters has said or done, can justify interfering with the right of people to travel freely. And again -- if you disagree with me here, when it is you who are being denied the right to travel freely, you will find yourself on my side here. For myself, I have great faith in the American system of government. I know I could get arrested for peacefully protesting (peaceful protesters are not usually arrested), and I know I would be released on bond, or get bailed out of jail. I could go through this without ever losing my faith in the American system of government. I know I have a right to have the justice system hear my grievance. I believe given a fair hearing, that I would ultimately win. I believe I would win because, unlike many nations, we are still a nation of laws, and not of men. What feeds this belief, is things like the record on free speech and assembly (as well as the 4th amendment), of people like the recently deceased, Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia was a man who many people viewed as a radical right winger. For the most part, I agree. But no man is truly one-dimensional. We are all complex individuals, worthy of respect, and I can respect a man or a woman without having to respect all of their words or actions. When a lawyer argued to uphold a Texas law against flag burning, before the Supreme Court; he argued that we must protect “this nation’s cherished property,” Scalia replied “I never thought that the flag I owned is your flag.” Justice Scalia’s record on freedom of speech and assembly, and on 4th amendment guarantees, feeds my faith in the American system of Justice, and it gives me inspiration. There were times when Justice Scalia words and decisions gave me heartburn and headaches, but I believe in taking the good with the not so good. I viewed Justice Scalia as an opponent, and not as an enemy. I’m a liberal. Being a liberal dictates I could not do otherwise. The train is leaving the station, and as it gains speed and momentum, there will come a point, when it will be too late to put the brakes on and stop it. If history serves up any lessons, it is that if and when it becomes too late -- most of us will stand aside, and later pretend we had nothing to do with it. But that would be a lie. We are all of us, responsible. With great freedoms and liberties, come even greater demands of duty and responsibilities. It is every American citizen’s duty to speak out, when all around us we see rising up, radical forces and petty demagogues inflaming the passions of those around us. Fear and anger are powerfully destructive forces when unleashed. When we allow negative forces to be unleashed, we stand in danger of becoming that which we should fear and despise the most: We become the enemy within. Nothing justifies physical violence at political events. Nothing. And please, please do not try and justify the violence by attempting an equivalence on another side. All but one of the major candidates have condemned all of the violence, at all of the political events. All but one. There is no escaping that simple, plain truth: Donald Trump is an asshole.