Today, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a thinly veiled suggestion that the anti-gun control crowd should assassinate Hillary Clinton.
Yes, you read that correctly.
‘Second Amendment People’
Speaking at a rally in North Carolina on August 9, Trump said,
“By the way, and if she gets the pick—if she gets the pick of her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I dunno.”
The Trump campaign quickly went into damage control, of course, stating that it was intended as a statement of unity. Trump spokesman Jason Miller said,
“It’s called the power of unification—2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power.”
Pardon me, but that is horseshit.
Trump suggested, in essence, that shooting Clinton (or, perhaps, one of the judges she nominates) might not be such a bad idea. Twist it any way you like, but that is exactly what he did.
Dan Rather posted this on Facebook today:
An excerpt reads:
“Candidate Trump will undoubtably [sic] issue an explanation; some of his surrogates are already engaged in trying to gloss it over, but once the words are out there they cannot be taken back. That is what inciting violence means.”
And he is exactly right. We, as a nation, cannot let this moment go unnoticed. We cannot let this slide.
A man called into the Michaelangelo Signorile show today and stated that the day after President Obama was inaugurated, a former co-worker of the caller said someone:
“…Should put a bullet in that n****r’s head.”
The caller stated that he phoned the Secret Service to inform them, and the Service did indeed go interview the man, but that the suggestion of a threat is not an actual threat.
Will Mr. Trump get the same treatment for his suggestion?
No Laughing Matter
Making an assassination joke is never funny, period. As the New York Times points out,
“At no point in recent American history has the nominee of one of the two major parties even jested about the murder of a rival.”
This is far, far lower than the nastiness we’ve all come to expect from Trump. The man has said some truly awful things during this campaign, but even I didn’t think he would go this low (and I called him “The Most Dangerous Man in America” just two weeks ago!).
The only instance in recent history that is reminiscent of this occurred in 2010, when Sharron Angle said,
“I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry … And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical… [I]t’s to defend ourselves. And you know, I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.”
Angle was widely criticized, and rightly so, for that comment, and she wound up losing her race to Harry Reid. And she was not even running for the highest office in the land.
— Tony Goldwyn (@tonygoldwyn) August 9, 2016
Things Are Going To Get Ugly
Batten down the hatches, my friends, because I think things are going to get really ugly in this country. I’m really not all that worried about Trump winning the presidency. His chances are slim to none at this point.
However, Trumpism will not die down with the fall of Trump himself. His rabid followers are not going anywhere. In fact, Clinton’s coming victory could very well embolden them even further.
We live in a society awash in gun violence. A society where children are gunned down in school and LGBTQ individuals are massacred at a nightclub. A country in which former Representative Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in a parking lot in an attack that killed six people, including a nine-year-old girl.
Suggesting that the “second amendment people” might have a solution? Those are loaded words, to say the least. Especially when one considers that they were spoken by a man who has a national microphone, and who has said he would pay the legal fees of supporters who “knock the crap” out of protesters.
I hope no one takes Trump’s comment seriously, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Featured Image Screenshot Via Twitter.