As Jeff Whitten eloquently stated in a recent edition of the Courier, “Words Have Consequences .”
To point: Four days after the Election, Donald Trump was interviewed on “60 Minutes,” where he was asked about the hate that emanated from his candidacy. Astoundingly he said he “was surprised to hear” about it, and looking into the camera, told the perpetrators to “stop it.” In another interview he promised to “bind the wounds of division” that were afflicting our country.
His comments were a day late and a dollar short. The hatred, and the new energy of the white nationalist movement, were predictable results of the campaign Trump waged — a campaign marked by incendiary racial statements, the stoking of white racial resentment, attacks on so-called “ political correctness” and amazingly making the most numerous racial group in the nation, Caucasians, feel like they were the minority!
A few weeks later, Trump acknowledged what he had not earlier. In a post-election speech in Orlando, part of his “thank you” tour, he responded to the crowd that was chanting “Lock her up” with these words: “Four weeks ago, you people were vicious, violent, screaming, “Where’s the Wall? We want the Wall!...Prison! Prison! Lock her up!” I mean you were going crazy. I mean you were nasty and mean and you wanted to win, right? Now, same crowds (still shouting Lock her Up)...but it’s much different. You’re laid back, your cool, you’re mellow. You’re basking in the glory of victory.”
Donald Trump is not legally responsible for any of this, of course. (First Amendment) However, the people who have engaged or will engage in legally responsible punishable hate violence, when they are caught, are the ones who will actually have to pay for their crimes. They are the ones who will experience the consequences of Trump’s words. It is undeniable that Trump’s reckless, populist mean-spirited campaign has left America with a Trump inspired legacy of hatred, violence and division.
Rejoice, Trump voters. You have made America great again.