During his show earlier this week, Stephen Colbert (unsurprisingly) decided to make fun of former president Donald Trump for holding his first rally since the January 6th protest at the capitol building. “Why is he allowed to have rallies after that?” Colbert asked. “After the assassination, John Wilkes Booth wasn’t welcomed to Broadway for a sold-out performance of ‘I Shot Lincoln: The Musical.'”
Given that Colbert is a comedian, this was obviously an attempt to be funny, but I didn’t find it too humorous.
The answer to Colbert’s (rhetorical) question is that, believe it or not, there is this thing called the First Amendment. It protects the right to freedom of speech. There is no reason why Trump would lose his First Amendment rights because his supporters held a protest at the capitol building.
In other words, the reason why Trump is allowed to hold rallies is because being allowed to do things is the default. There is no compelling reason why Trump wouldn’t be allowed to have rallies after the protest; therefore he should be allowed to have them. Whenever someone demands that another person be banned from doing something, the person doing the demanding bears the burden of proof. It doesn’t even make sense for Colbert to have asked the question that he asked, because by doing so he is putting the burden of proof on Trump (as well as on anyone who thinks that Trump has the right to hold rallies) when it should be on him.
The real question that should be asked is, “Why should Trump be banned from holding rallies?” I doubt Colbert, or anyone, could come up with a satisfactory answer.