Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Second Amendment remedies

Donald Trump has said many stupid, crazy things during this campaign, but suggesting that gun nuts assassinate his political opponent tops the list, don't you think?
The Republican presidential nominee said of his Democratic opponent: "Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.

"But the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."

It's hardly even worth pointing out that Hillary Clinton has never suggested abolishing the Second Amendment. Obviously, it wouldn't make any difference if she had, since assassination is terrorism, not politics.

Since when can a candidate for President of the United States - the nominee of one of our two main political parties, no less - get away with suggesting assassination, just because the polls show that he's losing badly? How could anyone still support this guy?

Of course, this isn't completely new to the GOP:
This isn't the first time that a Republican has suggested drastic action against Clinton. In June, Trump delegate and New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro (R), who also chairs Trump’s veterans group, said that Clinton should be put on the firing line and be "shot for treason" over the terror attacks in Benghazi. The Secret Service launched an investigation into Baldasaro’s comments.

Earlier in August, longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone suggested that if Clinton wins a state like Florida — where she currently leads Trump in a head-to-head matchup, according to polling — then the election would be "illegitimate," in which case he promised a "bloodbath."

But this isn't just any random moron, this is the specific moron Republicans have chosen as their presidential candidate.

And now this particular moron, Donald Trump, has escalated the rhetoric, magnifying those threats of terrorism, by actually suggesting that gun nuts assassinate his political opponent. And make no mistake, that's exactly what he was saying, despite desperate attempts by Republican leaders to spin it otherwise.

If you vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton in November, or even if you sit out the election entirely, you will be encouraging this kind of bullshit. We Americans need to take a stand.

And face it, the Republican Party will never change unless the party loses in a landslide. Anything less than that won't be enough. It needs to be a shocking loss, an overwhelming loss, with no possibility to spin it as anything else.

I remember the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I remember the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. I remember the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  That's not the kind of America I want. Do you?

I was unhappy when the five Republicans on our Supreme Court stole the 2000 election for George W. Bush. I was astonished when Bush was re-elected in 2004, after we already knew what a complete disaster he was. But I didn't shoot anyone. I didn't even suggest shooting anyone. And I would have immediately turned against anyone who did.

How could Donald Trump be happening in America? Have Republicans completely lost their minds?


Jim Harris said...

Another good post. But in this case I don't think it was the Republican party that picked Trump. I think the people who run the Republican party lost control, and a mass of their voters hijacked the party. The current Republican Party is not the party I hated in the past. That party was anti-government, anti-tax. This party is anti-everything.

Mary said...

A book was recommended on a blog I read called "Hillbilly Elegy".
It explains who these Trump voters are and the generations of mindset and poverty that have created this mess. I have not read it, but it sounded interesting. If you look at these people, they care about four things and only four things..anti abortion, anti gay, anti other ethnic and religious minorities and guns. Simple for the simple minded

Bill Garthright said...

Those voters are the Republican Party, Jim - not all of it (we can't forget the GOP's big-money backers), but certainly the majority.

Trump claims that he's bringing all of these new people into the GOP, but from what I've seen, that's not true. By and large, Trump supporters are the same people Republicans have been wooing for decades and the same people who've been voting Republican for 30 years or more.

Republican leaders thought to use them, to use the racists, the religious fundamentalists, the fearful xenophobes, and that worked for a long time. But those people are now the GOP base and, these days, they pick the leaders.

But you're right, too. Richard Nixon started that 'Southern strategy,' and Ronald Reagan improved on it, encouraging racists to see economics in racial terms. But neither could get elected in today's GOP, I suspect.

When fanatics take control, the only sin is not being fanatic enough. This is like the French Revolution all over again, but on the right, rather than the left. Let's hope it ends better.

Bill Garthright said...

That's interesting, Mary. But, you know, I get a different impression from reviews I've read (after searching for a few of them right now).

Oddly enough, that book seems to be popular among conservatives, too. The American Conservative has written a lot about it (here and here, for example).

But the emphasis there seems to be more about the contempt 'elites' have for poor white people, and the resulting anger about that. Apparently, this is a book with a lot of parts - and a lot to think about. Very interesting.

I'm from Nebraska, and Trump seems to be very popular here. But we're not hillbillies. I've never seen the kind of desperately poor white people this book seems to describe.

But most of the people in my small-town high school classes were completely uninterested in the rest of the world, completely uninterested in history or science, with biases they'd cling to as a matter of faith.

Poverty didn't get them there. And back then, nearly everyone came from a stable home (more or less). I don't know. And I don't know if that book offers any solutions, either.

But personally, early childhood education is the only solution I can come up with. It's easy to say that people need 'agency' - or anything else - but it's very hard to change attitudes which have already formed (and which are especially resistant to anything the 'elites' have to say).

Thanks for the comment, Mary. That book does seem interesting (very depressing, but interesting). Certainly, different people seem to be getting different things from it.

Jim Harris said...

I was implying that the people who run the party, the main Republican leaders in Washington, and other intellectuals who think they control the party, are different from the people who vote Republican. Trump has caused a revolt so that the Republican voters have rebelled against their own leaders.

Paul Ryan's philosophy is nothing like Trump's.

Think tanks like the CATO Institute think they can secretly guide the party, but they've lost control.

Bill Garthright said...

Yeah, I know, Jim. Republican leaders thought to use those people. They encouraged the worst elements in America - racism, sexism, xenophobia - in a cynical attempt to gain and maintain political power.

And it's worked great for decades. But now they've filled the GOP with the worst people in America - people they've further incited with anger, bigotry, and fear - and they've lost control.

I don't feel very sorry for them. Mostly, I just feel sorry for what they've done to my country.