The Portland Press Herald must take responsibility for publishing columns by Charles Krauthammer. Krauthammer has entered the realm of the truly dangerous.

His column of March 18, “Campaigns on both sides engage in dangerous political thuggery,” shows Krauthammer joining the demagogues when he implies that protesters at the Chicago Donald Trump rally were “thugs.”

The protesters were college students (the rally being held on campus) and local community members. There are plenty of news articles on who these people were. There’s no evidence to support Krauthammer’s claims of outside organizing or support, certainly not from Moveon.org or the like.

Like the Trump protest in Portland, the Chicago protest appears to have been spontaneous, inspired by Trump. Krauthammer’s column chooses to vilify this group of students as being of some “totalitarian left that specializes in the … silencing of political opponents” and says of this imaginary group that “its pedigree goes back to early 20th-century fascism and communism.”

Pardon me? There is no truth in these statements. Krauthammer, by these statements, acts the authoritarian, who hates the educated because they see through their lies.

Let’s set this right: Those who protest Donald Trump are not “thugs.” There is no conspiracy. They are people who have the right to protest. Free speech applies for all; rally attendees and protesters of Trump’s demagoguery.

The “thug” is Donald Trump, making xenophobic statements and encouraging violence (as supported by the New York Times’ recently published list of Trump events where he has called for or endorsed acts of violence).

As Alexander Hamilton warned: “Of those men who have overturned the liberty of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by playing an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.”