The Trump administration is desperately trying to not get tarred with the sick video of a digitized Trump massacring reporters and his opponents in a church, It's done by a third party, they cry. It's not us, they cry. There are unfortunately a few problems for them here --
The video was shown at an "American Priority" event organized by a pro-Trump group. It was held at his Mar-a-Lago property. His son Don Jr. was there. His former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was there. And Trump himself has just to comment a single word condemning it.
There are so many perspectives from which one can attack the video and slam the Republican, conservative and "evangelical" hypocrisy to it all -- but I'm going to put all that aside (which is a whole lot to put aside) because one comment alone transcends everything about it.
Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for Trump’s 2020 election campaign, said the “video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence.”
Here's the biggest problem.
Trump does condone violence. Of course, Trump condones violence. He's condoned it since he began running for president, and it hasn't stopped. He told his earliest rallies that if anyone was arresting for beating up protesters there, he's pay their bail. He's told more recent rallies that it's a shame protesters aren't getting beaten up like they used to, because that would stop things. He's told a police organization that when they arrest people they shouldn't be shy about being rough putting them in police cars. He's retweeted graphics of him beating up a reporter named "CNN." He recently lamented that it was a shame we didn't hang spies like we used to. There's a lawsuit going on right now in which Trump's security guards roughed up protesters at Trump Tower. When Turkey's brutal leader Erdogan visited Washington, D.C., his security guards beat up protesters, and there was no outraged criticism from Trump. When Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville during a rally of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Trump explained that there very fine people on both sides. On and on and on and on and on and on....
Trump separated immigrant children from their parents, as families tried to migrate into the United States. That's an emotional violence from which some may never recover.
Trump made a detail with Turkey's brutal Erdogan, withdrew U.S. troops protecting the Kurds in Syria, and it's unleashed the Turkish army that's in the midst of massacring those in their path. And Trump went to play golf and wished Turkey, Syria, and Russia well.
It's being going on long before he ran for president. When the Central Park 5 were being tried in 1989, Trump took out a full-page ad in 1989 calling for them all to be executed. They were all later found not-guilty.
"We do not condone violence," weeps Trump spokesman Tim Murtaugh. Promoting violence is Trump's lifeblood. It's one of the core tenants of fascism. Of course the campaign promotes violence. It's what they do. Building up people's fear and hatred and anger until the bullies and devoted acolytes explode into violence. And Trump defends and condones it all. And it's what brought us this sick massacre video.
And the Republican Party enables it all, is silent about it all, and is complicit in it all. So, they condone violence, too.
And they are every one a part of this sick massacre video -- shown at the properly-named pro-Trump "American Priority" event -- which (let us not forget) oh-so-appropriately for today's faux-evangelical GOP takes place in a church and is tied to them all like a mighty iron anchor that they all drag around with them every day. Because they brought it about. "We wear the chains we forged in life," Charles Dickens wrote, as Jacob Marley tried to warn Ebeneezer Scrooge.
All that's missing from Trump and the Republican Party's ongoing condoning of violence is one, big, group cry of "Bah, humbug."
That, and Trump explaining that many of the people who made the video are very fine people...
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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