Commentary

Trump just can’t stop promoting violence as the American way

During the primaries, he prided himself on his popularity to such an extent that he claimed: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

At a rally as security officers escorted a protester from the hall, Trump yelled with a disgusted sneer on his face: “I’d like to punch him in the face… In the old days, [protesters would be] carried out on stretchers. We’re not allowed to push back anymore.”

Just before the Iowa primaries, Trump claimed at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids that a security officer warned him that some protesters might throw tomatoes at him on stage. Trump advised supporters that if this were to occur, they should show no mercy and “Knock the crap out of ‘em!” He pledged he would pay for supporters’ legal fees.

At a Trump rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a white man sucker punched an African-American man in the face as the security patrol led the protester out of the auditorium. 

Trump focuses major initiatives of his foreign policy on violence. He advocates using brutality, such as waterboarding and other extreme measures, when interrogating prisoners. He wants to track down and “take out” families of suspected terrorists as a means of “retribution.” And he advocates that Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia acquire nuclear weapons in their arsenals.

In the most recent National Civility Survey, when asked whether they believed that civility has eroded in modern life in terms of personal relationships, government, business, media, and online, 65% of respondents stated that this is a “major problem” while 71 percent believed this has “worsened recently.”  

In the final analysis, all high visibility celebrities and candidates for elective office must be held to a higher standard in making certain they do not project even the slightest impression that they are advocating violence as a solution in solving problems. When they do, however, they serve as negative social role models, and they must be held accountable.  

High Profile Political Attempted Assassinations in the United States

President Andrew Jackson (1835), President William Howard Taft (1909), President Theodore Roosevelt (1912), President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933), President Harry S. Truman (1950), President Richard M. Nixon (1972), President Gerald Ford (Sept. 5 & 22, 1975), President Ronald Reagan (1981), Representative Gabrielle Giffords (2011).

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