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Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has portrayed a dark and divisive vision of America and has become both an inspiration and a vehicle for unapologetic racists. In no small part due to the climate of intolerance, hate, and “us versus them” that he has inspired, Trump campaign events and Trump-inspired acts of bigotry, intolerance, violence, and harassment have risen to such a volume that America’s Voice has been tracking them on a “Trump Hate Map,” which has been updated with unfortunate frequency over the past year.
It’s in this disturbing context, and with a litany of Trump-inspired acts of violence and hate in mind, that we view Trump’s 2nd Amendment comments yesterday. Separate from trying to assess Trump’s forethought, it is clear that the comments can easily be interpreted as a veiled threat against his opponent – who Trump continues to delegitimize at every opportunity.
According to Lynn Tramonte, Director of Ohio’s Voice, “Donald Trump’s comments are further reminders that he is a man fundamentally unfit for the presidency and that there is no middle ground for Republicans like Senator Portman when it comes to Trump and his campaign – if you are not publicly against Trump and the ugly forces and hate he gives voice to and incites, you are enabling him. As New York Times columnist David Brooks recently stated of the Republican fence-straddlers, ‘if you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots.’”
Tramonte added, “To someone like Senator Portman, who is planning to vote for Trump in November, we ask: After these comments and all the others, do you really think Donald Trump is suited to be president? What will it take for you to repeal your endorsement? Is there anything Donald Trump could say or do that will compel you to change your mind?”