Friday, October 19, 2018

More Than Face Value

Earlier this month, CNN reported

"In their quest for power, the radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob," Trump said at a rally in Topeka, Kansas, on Saturday. "You saw that today with the screaming and the shouting, not from the 200 people or less -- you know what? Those people, they couldn't fit in the front row."

"You don't hand matches to an arsonist, and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob," he added. "That's what they have become. The Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob."

Major Senate Republican snowflakes joined in the cry, with former presidential candidate Marco Rubio, Judiciary Committee member Orrin Hatch, Judiciary Committee chairperson Charles Grassley, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell themselves all decrying "mobs."

That was one or two days before a Trump rally in Iowa in which supporters chanted "lock her up" at the mention of Senator Dianne Feinstein's name. (Iowa is one of those states whose lovely voters, we're told, were smart enough to vote for Barack Obama and against Hillary Clinton.)

Then in Missoula, Montana Thursday evening, Trump declared

But (Representative) Greg (Gianforte) is great- and never wrestle him. You understand? Never. Any guy that can do a body-slam- he's my kind of guy.

I shouldn't say that because- there's nothing to be embarrassed about...

I had heard that he he body-slammed a reporter and he was way up. He was way up and I said "oh, that was the day of the election or two days before- and I said "oh, this is terrible, he is going to lose the election." And I said "wait a minute. I know Montana pretty well and it might help him." And it did.

The obvious (and accurate) takeaway is that President Trump is encouraging violent attacks upon the media, particularly revolting after the Saudis evidently murdered a journalist, a legal resident of the USA whom Trump criticized as not "a citizen of this country, for one thing."

But... wait. Trump did not deny that Gianforte had committed an illegal act nor justified the behavior. He stated that he believed Montanans would reject a body-slamming congressional candidate. Then, he acknowledged, they did not.

It was a subtle- admittedly, very subtle- dig at Montana voters.  The guy assaulted someone,Trump believed voters would reject the assailant, but voila! They don't, and he is elected.

This obviously isn't the most dangerous aspect of a statement meant to encourage violence, and particularly against reporters, by a man who has consistently condemned the press and encouraged violence. However, it is another example of how master magician Donald Trump criticizes or ridicules a group- Christian evangelicals and military veterans, most notably- who proceed to give him their undying support.  "My New Order" did not go unread.

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