After Donald Trump called for Hillary Clinton’s assassination during a speech on Tuesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather took to Facebook with a dire warning for people who say they disagree with Trump’s rhetoric but still support him.
When he suggested that ‘The Second Amendment People’ can stop Hillary Clinton he crossed a line with dangerous potential.
By any objective analysis, this is a new low and unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics. This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival. It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law. If any other citizen had said this about a Presidential candidate, would the Secret Service be investigating?
To anyone who still pretends this is a normal election of Republican against Democrat, history is watching. And I suspect its verdict will be harsh. Many have tried to do a side-shuffle and issue statements saying they strongly disagree with his rhetoric but still support the candidate. That is becoming woefully insufficient. The rhetoric is the candidate.
Rather also had a warning of sorts for the media, when he pleaded with them to stop downplaying Trump’s dangerous comments.
This cannot be treated as just another outrageous moment in the campaign. We will see whether major newscasts explain how grave and unprecedented this is and whether the headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers do it justice. We will soon know whether anyone who has publicly supported Trump explains how they can continue to do so.
Trump’s call to violence sent his campaign scrambling to come up with excuses and his senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, had this to say:
It’s called the power of unification — 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.
Yes. It’s true that 2nd Amendment people are “tremendously unified” and that’s why this call for Hillary Clinton’s assassination should be taken very seriously.
We are sure to hear a lot of outrageous explanations for what “Trump meant” on Tuesday, but there’s really no doubt about what his intentions were when he went off the rails again. We all know what he meant, but perhaps Dan Rather says it best:
Candidate Trump will undoubtedly issue an explanation; some of his surrogates are already engaged in trying to gloss it over, but once the words are out there they cannot be taken back. That is what inciting violence means.
Read Dan Rather’s full post via Facebook here:
Featured Image Via Getty Images/Kirk Irwin