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Trump 9: Encouraging violence

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You will search in vain for references to presidential candidates who actually encourage violence at their campaign events. Until, of course, Donald Trump.

This should come as no surprise, considering the more recent attention given to his statements to and about women. But when the nation’s prospective leader calls on his (unncommonly sheep-like and unquestioning) following to start whomping on anyone who isn’t a true believer, you can see where this can head – from coast to coast. This is one of the most important ways dictators keep the people in their country in line: The threat of violence not just from the authorities, but from the guy down the street.

The list of instances of calls to violence (just the opposite, obviously, of what a responsible public official – any public official – should do) runs long and deep. From various rallies and other public events:

“I’d like to punch him in the face.”

“I’ll beat the crap out of you … Part of the problem … is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore.”

He would “love” to fight Vice President Joe Biden, he said: “Some things in life you could really love doing!”

On February 1, “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, okay? Just knock the hell.”

At a March event in Michigan, Trump observed as a protester was being aggressively taken from the building. Then: “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court, don’t worry about it.”

Confronted about these and many other examples, Trump – in pattern with so much else – denied he had ever encouraged violence.

Go to the tape. And shudder. – rs

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