I had planned of starting a new series tonight about the Guadalcanal campaign since it began 74 years ago yesterday but I got distracted. Sadly it wasn’t unexpected but I had hoped to avoid writing on Donald Trump until at least Labor Day. In fact, if he had just been his normal narcissistic self, or repetition of flagrant lies, I probably would have said nothing. Trump is so full of this stuff that it really is getting out and boring.
But today he did something that went beyond anything I could have imagined that a major political party nominee would ever say. During a campaign speech in Wilmington, North Carolina he not only made false allegations on Clinton’s gun policy, he suggested that if she were elected and appointed Supreme Court justices that she would destroy the Second Ammendment. If he had stopped at that I would have let it pass, but he then told his supporters that “there was nothing they could do.” His actual comments which were delivered in a word salad manner were: “If she gets to pick her judges – nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”
Of course there was the outright lie that if Clinton gets to pick judges that people have no choice. He seems to ignore the legislative process, but then if he causes the GOP to implode and lose their House and Senate majorities neither he or they have nobody else but themselves to blame. But that wasn’t all. He made a suggestion, which Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama said could have been a “joke” that implied that “Second Amendment people” could do something. His spokesmen said that it meant that they would come out and vote, but the language, facial expression and body language of Trump spoke volumes. Since one of his advisers said less than two weeks ago that Hillary should be put before a foreign something that Trump never repudiated, and the fact that Trump has incited and encouraged physical violence against opponents, it was hard not to conclude that Trump was suggesting that his supporters kill Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court justices, or Federal judges.
But Trump jumped the shark on this one. Rational people from across the political spectrum realized exactly what Trump meant. Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, herself a survivor of an assassination attempt said “Donald Trump might astound Americans on a routine basis, but we must draw a bright red line between political speech and suggestions of violence. Responsible, stable individuals won’t take Trump’s rhetoric to its literal end, but his words may provide a magnet for those seeking infamy. They may provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed.”
Former CIA Director and Air Force General, Michael Hayden told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “If someone else had said that outside the hall, he’d be in the back of a police Eagan now with the Secret Service questioning him.” Hayden added: “You’re not just responsible for What you say. You are responsible for what people hear. That was more than a speed bump. That is actually a very arresting comment. It suggests either a very bad taste with reference to political assassination and an attempt at humor or an incredible insensitively – it may be the latter – an incredible insensitivity to the prevalence of political assassination inside of American history.”
Of course Trump spokesmen and supporters including Rudy Guilinani rapidly defended Trump by saying that he actually didn’t say or mean what he said. But context is everything. He provided cover for any person bent on infamy, or those bent on bloodshed. It is inexcusable and vile, and to hear people who say that they are all about law and order defend the remarks and spin them beyond recognition goes beyond my capacity for understanding. We had four Presidents (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley,and Kenedy) killed by assassins in a period of less than one hundred years, and and at least four others (Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan) survived such attempts. Name one other civilized country where that has occured? To even joke about it on the campaign trail shows the moral and ethical depravity of Donald Trump.
Now I know a lot of gun owners whose position on the Second Amendment more closely resembles Trump’s than mine. That being said I don’t know a one who would ever try to kill a political opponent, or assassinate a President, Presidential candidate, or Federal judge. These are rational, law abiding people, but Trump is appealing to the hate filled and deranged conspiracy theory types. The latter are the kind of people who would attempt such an action. Trump’s words are also insulting to the vast number of gun-owners who are law abiding citizens, by using the term “Second Amendment people” Trump, lumped together the law abiding and the law breaking, the sane and the insane, the rational and the irrational.
Anyway. I am tired. It has been a long but good day. I had another crazy PTSD nightmare last night, thankfully instead of my face hitting the nightstand I gave it an overhead kick during a close combat nightmare. But I got another three mile run in this afternoon and unlike yesterday my legs felt good the entire run.
So have a good night.