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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’ 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.
These comments serve as further reminders that Trump is unfit for the presidency and that there is no middle ground for Republicans when it comes to his campaign. As New York Times columnist David Brooks recently stated of the Republican fence-straddlers, “if you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots.”
In light of these latest comments, Republicans like Senator Rubio – who has condemned individual comments from Trump but continues to support him for president – need to answer, once and for all, whether they think Donald Trump is actually fit for the U.S. presidency.
“It’s unacceptable for Sen. Rubio to continue to endorse a candidate that is normalizing violence — whether that violence is directed toward people of color, women, or political opponents,” said Florida’s Voice State Director Elbert Garcia. “That is not the kind of example that we should be setting, especially for our young people, and certainly not the kind of leadership we need representing Floridians in Washington.”