Commentary, Park Forest

Battleground State Editorials Rip Trump’s Second Amendment Comments

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–August 11, 2016.After Donald Trump made veiled comments Tuesday in North Carolina invoking the Second Amendment, news media in critical general election states decried Trump’s remarks, calling them “dangerous” and “unacceptable.” One editorial board said Trump “crossed a very bright line where no American political candidate should go,” while another proclaimed, “If there’s a line marking the edge of political discourse, Donald Trump pole-vaulted way past it on Tuesday.”

Take a look…

There’s a difference between what’s said and what’s heard

Scranton Times-Tribune and Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice // Editorial Board

History is littered with the tragic results not only of what politicians and rulers say, but what their followers hear. … Beginning with a deliberate and demonstrable lie — his claim that Hillary Clinton intends to abolish the Second Amendment — Trump then crossed a very bright line where no American political candidate ever should go. … Trump’s ignorance of any history that does not pertain to himself is well-known, as is his willingness to say anything to fire up an adoring crowd. These are not traits suitable to a president whose every word has deep importance somewhere in the world. That circumstance demands discretion that Trump obviously does not possess.
If there’s a line marking the edge of acceptable political discourse, Donald Trump pole-vaulted way past it on Tuesday. … Trump should know by now that as a candidate for the highest office in the United States, every statement he makes will be parsed. And he should think before he speaks. All it would take is for one person to hear his “Second Amendment people” remark and interpret it as a call to shoot Clinton, a candidate whom that person has been primed to view as illegitimate. Any harm that comes Clinton’s way also could imperil her family, her staff, the people who attend her rallies, and Secret Service members who are charged to put themselves between the candidates and danger. It was a very irresponsible thing to say.

With Clinton ‘assassination’ remarks, Trump crosses the final line: John L. Micek

PennLive // John Micek
Donald Trump knew what he was doing Tuesday afternoon. Make no mistake. … In a nation awash in weapons, at a time when every city street in America, including those in Harrisburg, reverberates almost daily with the sound of gunfire, Trump sounded a dog whistle so loud and so clear, that there could be no mistaking its meaning. No amount of backpedaling, no amount of outrage about a “dishonest” media  or angry charges that “Crooked Hillary” was twisting his words could unring the bell that he had so loudly rung. And it is the final disqualifying factor to elevating Donald J. Trump to the highest elected office in the country.
‘Dangerous qualities’ in a president
Akron Beacon Journal // Editorial Board
Donald Trump finds himself in another rhetorical mess of his own making. The real estate tycoon, reality TV celebrity and Republican presidential candidate insists that he simply urged gun-rights advocates to express their opposition to Hillary Clinton. Yet again, his words lacked clarity, to be kind. One interpretation goes that he invited “the Second Amendment people” to use other devices, even violent means, to stop Clinton from nominating Supreme Court justices. All a joke? Not this time.
Columbus Dispatch // Editorial Board

Donald Trump’s latest outrage, a statement suggesting that gun-rights supporters might be able to do something to prevent Hillary Clinton from appointing judges who would curb gun rights, is so reckless and dangerous that it raises questions about Trump’s mental competence. … Trump’s statement is dangerously irresponsible and might be evidence that he is not fully in control of what comes out of his mouth. … If Trump feels even a shred of responsibility for what issues from his mouth, then he should issue a clear statement repudiating violence as a solution to political disagreement. Throughout his campaign, Trump has issued a cascade of outrageous statements, each one seemingly more jaw-dropping than the last. It’s hard to imagine that he could surpass this one, though it’s probably best not to underestimate him. But it will be a good thing if more and more Americans decide to stop listening to him.

Richmond Times-Dispatch // Editorial Board
Maybe Donald Trump was only joking Tuesday when he suggested that “Second Amendment people” might be able to do something about Hillary Clinton appointing liberal justices to the Supreme Court. That doesn’t excuse the remark. … Even if Trump did not mean what he said, his remarks are inexcusable.

Donald Trump doesn’t want to be president

Concord Monitor // Editorial
Trump’s strategy is to wind people up and let ’em go. It explains not only his wink-wink to “Second Amendment people” but his overall abysmal record among fact-checkers, too. He just doesn’t care if he gets called out for a threat or lie, and neither do his supporters.

Don’t dismiss Trump remarks as ‘just words’

Portland Press-Herald // Editorial Board
Sen. Susan Collins on Monday became perhaps the most prominent Republican to disavow her party’s nominee for president. On Tuesday, Donald Trump showed why others have an obligation to follow her. Republicans should reject Trump’s brand of politics, not because his comments – which insinuated that Hillary Clinton should be shot – go too far, but because those comments show there is no limit to how far he will go to awaken the worst impulses in the American electorate. Whether he wins or loses, that bell cannot be unrung. The only right response is widespread condemnation, and a collective agreement that Trump’s way of doing business has no place in the public arena. Trump’s comments can no longer sanely be brushed off as “just words,” and not just because that argument forgets the power given to the words of someone in such a prominent position.

Editorial: Trump’s dangerous words

Tampa Bay Times // Editorial Board
Words matter. Donald Trump sent a dangerous message when he recklessly suggested that gun rights supporters could take action if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who affirm gun control measures. It is a signal that is not open to a benign interpretation, and it is further evidence this man who so carelessly speaks without regard to the consequences is not fit to be president.

Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified – and these folks would know

Charlotte Observer // Editorial Board
Don’t take it from Hillary Clinton. Don’t take it from the media. Take it, instead, from 50 leading Republicans who have all worked directly with Republican presidents or their main advisers on national security and foreign policy: Donald Trump “would be the most reckless President in American history.” … Right on cue, Trump acted impetuously, saying at a Wilmington, N.C., rally on Tuesday that “2nd Amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from picking judges, which many took as an incitement to violence. … We understand why people are frustrated with government, and the appeal of an outsider. But this letter is a different animal than the typical back-and-forth of politics, and should make voters consider if this is really the outsider they want.

Denver Post // Editorial Board

Once again Donald Trump has captured the national conversation by breaking yet another abiding American principle. Once again he has proven himself unfit for the office he seeks. … While Trump’s aides rushed to present the statement as a call to political action, it strains credulity to believe that most viewers would view such encouragement — such incitement to violence — as acceptable. In Colorado, a state famously and repeatedly victimized by gun violence, and copycat gun violence, Trump’s suggestion rings especially frightening. But here we are. A presidential nominee for a major political party running at time of national unrest marked too often by violence, mass shootings and now lethal ambush attacks on police officers should understand — all the way down to his blood and bones — not to make jokes suggesting assassination of political foes. … [T]his latest controversy goes way too far and may be the most damning thing he’s done on the trail.

Reckless remarks

Greensboro News & Record // Editorial Board
Certainly, Trump would not come out and call for someone to assassinate Clinton. But his suggestive comment is disturbing all the same. Presidential candidates don’t talk like that about their opponents. … Trump is not just careless with words, which is enough reason for worry. He’s dangerous. Lately, as his poll numbers have dropped, he’s been warning that the election will be “rigged.” Based on what evidence? None. American presidential candidates do not undermine public confidence in the integrity of our democratic process, and Trump’s prediction of a stolen election is more than a poor loser preparing excuses. It raises the concern that he would challenge the legitimacy of a Clinton presidency. Trump has made one blunder after another during his unlikely campaign. They didn’t hurt him with a Republican electorate, but he hasn’t become more cautious or thoughtful since winning the nomination. Hinting that guns might be used to resolve political differences should be unacceptable to all Americans.
Raleigh News and Observer // Editorial Board
Though Trump’s campaign tried to cast the comment as having a different meaning, it wasn’t working. The nominee clearly implied a threat to the president of the United States (assuming Clinton was that president) from “Second Amendment people,” presumably meaning gun owners. This was an outrageous comment from someone who has made one after another.
Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer // Editorial Board

We suspect Trump knew exactly what he was doing – tossing out a bit of outrage to reap a rich harvest in free media. And if it created dangerous results? Well, not his problem.

GOP officeholders: Consider consequences of choosing Trump

Detroit Free Press // Editorial Board
The day after the Detroit Economic Club speech, Trump made news again, suggesting at a rally that a President Hillary Clinton would nominate judges inimical to his supporters’ interests, and that no one could stop her — except, perhaps, gun owners. The campaign was quick to suggest that what Trump meant was that Second Amendment supporters could stop Clinton by voting against her this November. But that’s not what he said. And even if it had been, consider that a presidential candidate is required to explain that he did not actually mean his supporters should shoot his opponent. For a candidate who glories in muck, this is a new low.



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