Don Trump threatens having his supporters go to Sanders rallies
Each time we think we’ve seen showman/businessman Donald Trump lower bar on our political discourse, raise to new demagogic heights, and move to inflame passions and encourage violence he surprises us again. He moved higher on the demagogue level and to depths not seen since George Wallace sought the Democratic Presidential nomination. Now — as he’s being reviled by Democrats and Republicans for encouraging or enabling violence at his rallies — Trump is threatening Democratic Sen. Bernie Sander’s rallies by planting the little seed in his followers’ minds that its OK to retaliate by disrupting the Vermont Senator’s rallies.
I predicted this would happen but didn’t predict Trump would all but overtly call for it. Now he has:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to send his supporters to the campaign rallies of Democrat Bernie Sanders, showing no sign of toning down his rhetoric after clashes erupted at his own events over the weekend.
Trump, front-runner for the Republican nomination, appeared unchastened after simmering discord between his supporters and protesters angry over his positions on immigration and Muslims turned into a palpable threat on Friday, forcing him to cancel a Chicago rally and shadowing his campaign appearances on Saturday.
Trump blamed supporters of Democratic candidate Sanders for the incidents in Chicago, where scuffles broke out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate. He called the U.S. senator from Vermont “our communist friend”.
On Sunday, he went a step further in an early morning post on Twitter: “Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!”
The scenes in Chicago followed several weeks of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about security leading into the Nov. 8 presidential election to replace Democratic President Barack Obama.
The disturbances continued on Saturday at a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, where Secret Service officers scrambled to surround the candidate after a man charged the stage.
And Trump is saying he’s asked his legal team to look into paying the legal fees of the follower of his who sucker punched a black man in the face.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sunday that he has instructed his team to look into paying the legal fees of the man who sucker punched a black protester.
Trump said he doesn’t condone violence.
“But I want to see. The man got carried away, he was 78 years old, he obviously loves his country, and maybe he doesn’t like seeing what’s happening to the country,” Trump said.
NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked him to clarify if that meant he would pay for the legal fees.
“Well, I’m going to look at it. I’m going to see, you know, what was behind this because it was a strange event,” Trump said. “I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes.”
Precisely what message does that send his followers?
He also used a doctored video to “prove” that the man who rushed the stage was connected to ISIS, Buzzfeed reports:
Donald Trump repeatedly claimed Saturday that a man who rushed the stage during a rally in Dayton, Ohio, was “ISIS-related.” It appears, however, that the GOP frontrunner was instead fooled by an old, fake video meant to mock the man.
To prove there was an ISIS connection, Trump tweeted a video allegedly from Dimassimo that purportedly showed he had sympathy with the terror organization.
But the alleged ISIS video actually appears to have been cobbled together from old footage in an attempt to troll Dimassimo.
The video shows footage of Dimassimo from a protest at Wright State University.
That footage, however, appears to be lifted from a video Dimassimo himself seems to have posted to YouTube. Dimassimo’s video lacks the music and images typical of ISIS productions. The description also states that the protest was done in solidarity with Eric Sheppard, a Valdosta State University student who made headlines in 2015 for standing on an American flag.
Dimassimo spoke with local TV about the protest in April, 2015, and said it was not meant to disrespect military members for “sacrifices they made for this country.” He also said he was not “anti-vet” or “anti-troops,” and the report describes him as an ally of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The alleged ISIS video also includes a description written entirely in Arabic. The Arabic is badly garbled, but appears to say “Tommy D” was trying to look “cool” and as if he has big balls for standing on an American flag.
The alleged ISIS video appears to have been posted to YouTube last May by someone named Thomas Jenners, whose account has since been deleted, then taken down Saturday. But the personal insults directed at Dimassimo are uncharacteristic of ISIS media. It was also posted to Facebook, but has since been deleted.
The ISIS claims appear to have gathered steam after appearing on conservative website The Last Refuge, which on Saturday removed a story that ended up being a hoax about a black Trump supporter being murdered.
This indicates: a)man, Trump has lousy staffing with no attempt to get confirmation, b)how easy it is in the Internet age to put up a fake video that will get instant credibility by its title and the first few seconds, with many not even bothering to watch it all the way through.
Meanwhile, Trump has in effect now invited his supporters to go and try to do to Sanders’ rallies what Sanders’ supporters did to his rally. As I noted in a previous post, the Sanders’ demonstrators who went inside the rally started climbing a slippery slope — and we will likely see it get steeper and more slippery.
And I’ll repeat my prediction: someone will soon get seriously hurt or killed at one of these rallies as Trump stands there smiling, and dropping a match into a combustible situation — while the GOP now is showing signs that despite all the talk in the end if he gets the nomination the party WILL aggressively work to elect him.
There are already rumblings that major donors will work for Trump:
A top Republican fundraiser says he believes the majority of the party’s donor class will ultimately “fall in line” behind Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee despite last-ditch attempts by some wealthy conservatives to derail the billionaire front-runner.
“The majority of donors want to see a Republican victory,” Fred Malek, the finance chair of the Republican Governors Association, said in a telephone interview with The Hill on Friday.
“They might prefer somebody other than Trump but if he gets the nomination they will fall in line.”
Malek has been a key player in the multimillion-dollar fundraising machine that has helped install Republican governors in statehouses across the country.
Among the donors he talks to, Malek said many are saying they will support Trump if he wins the nomination, despite their misgivings, because the stakes of this election are so high.
He said those voices view as unacceptable the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton driving America further leftward and potentially installing as many as four Supreme Court nominees. He also predicted that possibility will focus many donors’ minds and dissolve much of the remaining resistance to Trump.
Malek says he, too, would ultimately support Trump if the billionaire wins the nomination.
“We have seen enough of the extreme leftward drift of the country and the over-regulation of the economy,” he said. “At the end of the day we want to win and have a Republican in the White House.”
And why would this really be a surprise, as it won’t be surprise when powerful conservative radio and cable talk show hosts do the political limbo and jettison previous booming rhetoric against Trump and back him. It’s all about the Rs and the Ds (not the country) isn’t it? Sean Hannity has already all but official mouthed the words “I want Trump in the White House.” As Washington Monthly’s David Atkins writes:
This is the bottom line: the Republican Party’s base is held together by a variety of ideologies and prejudices. But Republican donors mostly act out of pure self-interest. Some like Sheldon Adelson have very specific interests in mind in terms of foreign policy or other issues, but mostly Republican donors simply want to keep more of their immense wealth without having to share with the unworthy poors. They’ll buy or pay off whomever they can in order to prevent the masses from getting access to “their” billions.
They may not like Donald Trump. They may think he’s a boor, bad for the future of their tax cuts and largely unreliable. But they’ll invest in him, anyway. And the so-called Republican civil war won’t be anything it was cracked up to be, because the donors will fall in line.
It’s not personal. It’s just business.
And Republicans who don’t go along will wake up and find a donkey’s head in their bed.
graphic via DonkeyHotey at Flickr