Yesterday, Donald Trump said something that I’m sure his supporters will be defending for months. Some will say he was joking. Some will say his words were taken out of context. And some will say he meant something other than what he actually said.
And they’ll all be wrong.
They’ll be wrong factually and they’ll be wrong ethically.
Because nobody should defend what Trump said yesterday. His comment should be condemned by democrats, republicans, libertarians, green party members, and independents.
It should be condemned by Trump supporters, Clinton supporters, Johnson supporters, Stein supporters, and by those who aren’t voting at all.
Donald Trump’s comment should be condemned by everybody.
Before yesterday, Trump had the potential to be dangerous, but he wasn’t quite there yet.
Yesterday, he became dangerous.
For those who missed it, Donald Trump jokingly (I hope) suggested the only way to stop Hillary Clinton from abolishing the second amendment would be assassination. Here’s the video of his comment. It’s right at the beginning:
“Hillary wants to abolish – essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks… Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,”
This is what “too far” looks like.
There are three things about Trump supporters that is undeniable:
- Many of them are passionate.
- Many of them are unstable.
- Many of them are violent.
To be clear, I’m not talking about all Trump supporters. I’m sure there are completely stable, intelligent Trump supporters out there who aren’t zealots at all. I’m sure some of them simply think he’s a good candidate. And some of them, I’m sure, just see him as the lesser of two evils.
But many of them are unstable, violent zealots.
We’ve seen videos of Trump supporters running up and down the street, just screaming his name. We’ve seen interviews of them acting… well, unstable.
And we’ve seen videos of them attacking protesters.
Maybe they were provoked. Maybe they weren’t. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that these people will resort to violence when they feel it’s justified.
Is this true of every candidate?
Sure. Every candidate has their share of nut-jobs who support them. I personally think Trump is attracting them at unprecedented levels, but for the sake of argument, I’m fine with conceding that my three statements are true of any candidate’s supporters. It really doesn’t affect my point either way.
And here’s my point:
Since Trump knows that many of his followers have acted both unstable and violent, it’s the epitome of irresponsible to make a joke about assassinating Hillary Clinton.
For months now, Trump has been creating a narrative about Clinton. He’s been establishing a narrative that she’s corrupt. And he’s been establishing a narrative that she’s trying to “steal” this election. He’s said multiple times that he worries the election will be “rigged,” and his supporters are buying what he’s selling. In some states, as many as 69% of Trump supporters have said they think, if Clinton wins the election, it’ll be because it was “rigged.”
And, perhaps most importantly, he’s established the untrue narrative that Hillary Clinton wants to take their guns away by abolishing the second amendment.
So, in the minds of these supporters, Hillary is a corrupt monster who is the enemy of free speech, the freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms.
And now, he has suggested that the only way to stop Hillary from abolishing the second amendment is by killing her.
There is little doubt that some nut-jobs out there heard his comment and considered it a call to arms. Hopefully, they won’t act on it, but the fact that Trump would take that risk shows that he is a deeply irresponsible and dangerous man.
This has gone beyond politics. If someone does act because of his comment, he will certainly hold some responsibility.
I’ve already seen some of his supporters try to defend this comment and it’s sickening. At first, they said he was joking. When they realized that wasn’t much of a defense, they changed their stance from “He’s joking” to “He was just telling people to go vote!”
Trump specifically said, “if she gets to pick her judges,” there will be nothing they could do about it… except, maybe, the “second amendment people.” He openly stated that he was talking about what would happen after Clinton is elected. Why, exactly, would he be telling people they can stop her by voting after she’s elected?
If this was a call to vote, why did he not ask anybody to go vote? Why did he instead say the “second amendment people” might be able to stop her, after she was elected?
It’s time to drop the political nonsense. It’s time to get real.
Donald Trump was talking about assassination. I know it. You know it. And Trump knows it.
And speaking of Trump, I saw both Trump and Rudy Giuliani talk about how the people in the crowd “clearly” understood that he was talking about voting.
Do me a favor. Go watch that video again, but this time, look at a man in the crowd, sitting behind Trump. He’s on the right side of the screen, he’s wearing a red shirt, and he has white hair and a white beard.
This man clearly understood that Trump was talking about an assassination. As soon as Trump made the comment, the man looked shocked, turned the woman beside him, then said, “Whoah!” Then he and the woman started laughing.
Yeah. They got the “joke.”
Let’s cut the bullshit, folks. If you want to support Trump after this, fine. That’s your right and I support it.
But please… stop trying to defend the indefensible. No candidate should talk about assassination in this way. It’s not just dangerous.
It’s time to say, “Enough!”