On the heels of today’s tragic shooting during a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Donald Trump Jr. shared perhaps the most inappropriate and misguided tweet of the day.
He retweeted political consultant Harlan Z. Hill’s tweet claiming that the shooting in Alexandria was “EXACTLY” why Republicans took issue with the New York City Public Theater’s production of “Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare, which depicts the assassination of a politician who bears a resemblance to Trump.
The artistic director of the Public Theater, Oskar Eustis, had already refuted the claim, saying that “anybody who watches this play … will know that neither Shakespeare nor the Public Theater could possibly advocate violence as a solution to political problems, and certainly not assassination. This play, on the contrary, warns about what happens when you try to preserve democracy by non-democratic means and again, spoiler alert, it doesn’t end up too good.”
— Dan Garodnick (@DanGarodnick) June 13, 2017
Of course, the ultimate irony of Trump Jr.’s retweet is that his father, Donald Trump, is a New York elite who has called for violence against a political candidate. At a Trump campaign rally in August, Trump suggested that “second amendment people” could act against Hillary Clinton.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said during his rally. “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Trump’s comment drew instant criticism from Democrats and gun control activists. Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said his statement was “repulsive—literally using the Second Amendment as cover to encourage people to kill someone with whom they disagree.”
Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said only that Trump’s comment sounded “like a joke gone bad.” Hardly the condemnation one would expect from a top Republican.
While it’s not uncommon for Trump’s son to fire off misguided and impulsive remarks in blind defense of his father, he should perhaps take care to verify that he doesn’t vilify his own father in the process.