The blame game over the violent protests that cancelled a Donald Trump rally in Chicago continues. Some blame Trump himself because of his incendiary rhetoric. Some even blame President Obama, for his divisive political tactics and his record of failure both at home and abroad. Both theories have some evidence to support it, however as MSNBC reported, the organized nature of the protests point to what one might call a “vast left-wing conspiracy” to use Trump as a target for violent street theater.

Many people who invaded the rally venue and who acted up outside with self-identified Bernie Sanders supporters. Others were connected with the so-called Black Lives Matter movement that has disrupted campaign events of candidates from both parties., the Clinton inspired political group, took credit for the cancellation and has urged disruption of other Trump events. The very next day, the Secret Service had to restrain a man who charged the stage where Trump was speaking in Ohio. Hecklers disrupted a Trump speech in Kansas City.

Sanders has the image of a curmudgeonly, grandfatherly figure who rails against big banks and wants to give people free stuff, paid for by hefty tax increases, not just on the wealthy. But, increasingly, an ugly undertone is being seen among his followers, if not from the candidate himself. The undertone verges on fascistic in both its tone and tactics. The fascism stems from the very nature of socialist, which Sanders champions though he tried to soften the term by adding the adjective “democratic” to it.

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The problem with socialism is that it relies on state power and not on the free choice of individuals to determine economic outcomes. That power can be expressed in the tax code and the use of police power to enforce the redistribution of wealth. Taken to its ultimate conclusion, though, socialist countries (think Cuba, the old Soviet Union, even Nazi Germany) needs a secret police and concentration camps to even hope to succeed, which ultimately it never has because socialist governments always run out of other people's money. The use of street violence to advance the socialist cause is just the start of that long road to ruin,

Conspicuously, Sanders has not counseled his supporters to refrain from political violence, instead attempting to place all the blame on Trump and his fiery rhetoric. This attitude will not do. If Sanders wants to be a player in the democratic process that is taken seriously, he needs to eschew violence and try to advance his agenda through argument and persuasion and not by force.