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LETTERS

Sabotaging Trump rallies does nobody any good, and could help him

Attendance at President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Okla., was far smaller than the overflow crowd that the president and campaign officials had promised.
Attendance at President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Okla., was far smaller than the overflow crowd that the president and campaign officials had promised.Go Nakamura/Bloomberg

Much as I want to see President Trump defeated in November, I’m appalled by efforts to sabotage his rallies. Rally attendance is core political expression. Stopping others’ expression, whether by physically blocking rally entrances or by hoarding tickets to keep them from would-be attendees, strikes at our core values of free expression and personal autonomy.

We’re free to try to persuade others not to back Trump. If they choose not to heed us, and choose to proclaim their choice, by what right should we stop them?

Reports of Trump opponents sabotaging one rally in Tulsa, Okla., help the president write off as sabotage any campaign failures: flopped rallies, weak polls, even an election loss. Not knowing Trump’s true support can confound his rivals, as happened in 2016. But the main reason not to adopt sleazy tactics is that doing so entrenches Trumpism. If we oust Trump while normalizing his brand of pursuing power at all costs, what will we have won?

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Ilya Shlyakhter

Allston