‘Trump Encourages Violence’ Is Trending on Twitter – Here’s Why

 
 
 
The phrase "Trump encourages violence" is trending on Twitter as opinion pieces in Huffpost and The New York Times are going viral.

"It Isn’t Complicated: Trump Encourages Violence," penned by NY Times opinion columnist David Leonhardt, begins with this simple premise: "He doesn’t deserve blame for any specific attack. He does deserve blame for the increase in white-nationalist violence."

"Trump Encourages Violence From His Supporters. They’re Listening," Senior Reporter Sebastian Murdock writes in Huffpost. He quotes the president's infamous Charlottesville retort: “You have people who are very fine people on both sides.”

Both columns, of course, are in response to the disturbing remarks President Trump offered in an exclusive interview given in the Oval Office to none other than the far right/alt-right website Breitbart that for years was run by former Trump top advisor Steve Bannon.

Trump, in short, threatened violence from his supporters if he is not re-elected, and he did it in a very Trumpian way: a thinly-veiled suggestion that reads like a dog whistle to those who understand the hidden language of white supremacism and white nationalism.

"GOP leaders have largely ignored Trump’s repeated calls for violence," Murdock observes in Huffpost. "After Trump claimed to have the might of the military on his side, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stayed quiet. Sens. McConnell and John Cornyn (R-Texas), along with Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) did not respond to HuffPost’s requests asking if they would condemn Trump’s latest remarks," he adds.

"This wasn’t the first time Trump had mused about violence, of course," Leonhardt wrote in the Times. "He has talked about 'Second Amendment people' preventing the appointment of liberal judges. He’s encouraged police officers to bang suspects’ heads against car roofs. He has suggested his supporters 'knock the hell' out of hecklers. At a rally shortly before 2018 Election Day, he went on a similar riff about Bikers for Trump and the military."

Leonhardt says he's "well aware of the various see-no-evil attempts to excuse this behavior: That’s just how he talks. Don’t take him literally. Other Republicans are keeping him in check. His speeches and tweets don’t really matter."

He pushes back, saying, "they do matter. The president’s continued encouragement of violence — and of white nationalism — is part of the reason that white-nationalist violence is increasing. Funny how that works."

On Twitter, the two columns sparked a discussion. Take a look at some of the responses:

 

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