The rise of far-right militias and their increasing showings of armed force at protests and even inside state capitol buildings has been one of the most disturbing trends in recent years and one which carries with it the unsettling possibility of organized political violence occurring at some point in the future.
Many of these conservatives involved with these movements have spent years if not decades stockpiling ammunition and weapons of war in anticipation of a Second American Civil War which, given the political leanings of many of these people, often boils down calls for an overt race war.
With that grim reality in mind, it’s imperative that politicians take extreme care in their rhetoric so as to never encourage violence, even implicitly, and resist the urge to overly demonize their opponents. There are too many people out there just spoiling for an excuse to take to the streets with guns for government officials to even wink at such actions.
Of course, Donald Trump couldn’t possibly care any less about how his words and actions affect others. Readers should be horrified but not surprised to learn that the president shared a video on his Twitter in which one of his supporters stated that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
The man in the clip Trump retweeted is Couy Griffin, the leader of “Cowboys for Trump” and a GOP commissioner for a New Mexico county. The comments were made earlier this month and recently went viral.
While in the video Griffin goes on to clarify that he doesn’t mean physically dead but politically dead, it’s difficult to take that caveat seriously given the obvious hatred he feels towards liberals and the fact that he launched into an extended rant about how Democrats are “anti-American.”
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Griffin implied that several Democratic governors are guilty of treason against the United States and suggested that extrajudicial executions would be a good way to deal with those he political disagrees with.
“You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope,” Griffin said.
This man is a dangerous lunatic who should be shunned from polite society, not endorsed by the President of the United States. Trump’s retweet is inexcusable and an ominous indication of the kind of rhetoric we can expect as November draws nearer.
Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico! https://t.co/aCRJeskUA8
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2020
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