Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Words Matter

"If she gets to pick her judges - nothing you can do, folks. Although the second amendment people ... maybe there is."

Let's cut to the chase. What Donald Trump said about Hillary Clinton and "second amendment people" at one of his rallies was profoundly disturbing. There was nothing ambiguous about his choice of words. He knew exactly what he was saying and, even worse, those who were in attendance knew as well.

This was not some liberal media spin. In fact, there's is nothing to spin here whatsoever. The fact that so many Republicans have called him out for this statement only proves how ridiculous such a claim is. To even suggest that your political opponent could be assassinated just because she might have a different, less warped, interpretation of the Second Amendment crosses a line that no serious candidate running for president should ever be allowed to cross. What Trump said was no different than what Sharon Angle said six years ago when she was running for the Senate against Harry Reid in Nevada. It was reprehensible then and it is just as reprehensible now.

This was not a joke gone bad, as Paul Ryan alluded to. Nor was it about a political movement, as his apologists are attempting to turn it into. There was nothing in the statement referring to going to the polls to vote. Virtually the entirety of the statement was about what happens AFTER the election, not before. Trump knows this and so do, I suspect, his apologists.

I don't know, I give up. Every time I think he has hit rock bottom, he finds a new low to sink to. Not 48 hours after giving a "major" policy speech that his supporters were hoping would allow him to reset his badly hemorrhaging campaign, he goes completely off the deep end. Again.

This is becoming more than just predictable; it's becoming pathetic. Not only does he not have the impulse control necessary to keep himself from uttering the first thing that pops into his head; he lacks, as I've said, the capacity for self reflection. He still has no idea of the potential consequences his words can have; that there are people who attend his rallies who are deeply disturbed and who don't need much provocation to send them over the edge. It only takes one lunatic to carry out an atrocity. We haven't had an assassination of a president or presidential nominee in this country in over 50 years. Given the powder keg this nation is sitting on such an event would ignite a firestorm that might well take decades to extinguish.

Thomas Friedman was right when he said, "People are playing with fire here, and there is no bigger flamethrower than Donald Trump. Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him. I only pray that he is not simply defeated, but that he loses all 50 states so that the message goes out across the land — unambiguously, loud and clear: The likes of you should never come this way again."

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