Trump and ‘menacing invective’

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review Online worries about the level of vitriol aimed at the White House’s current occupant.

The current candidates are just channeling three years of sick showboating by Hollywood celebrities.

Actor Robert De Niro has repeatedly expressed a desire to physically assault Trump. A month before Trump was elected, De Niro said of him, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Later, De Niro doubled down with a series of “F*** Trump” outbursts.

This is especially dangerous in the aftermath of progressive zealot and Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson’s 2017 attempt to assassinate Republican congressmen at a practice for a charity baseball game. Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.) was shot and nearly killed. Three other people were also shot and wounded. …

… Donald Trump is a controversial president, no doubt. He replies to his critics with strong, often inflammatory invective.

Yet the continued litany of threats to physically assault or kill a president is lowering the bar of assassination, and it will haunt the country long after Trump is gone.

On the day Trump was inaugurated, the pop music star Madonna told a large crowd outside the White House that she had thought of blowing it up.

A few months later, comedian Kathy Griffin issued a video where she held up a bloody facsimile of a decapitated Trump head.

Since then, Hollywood and the entertainment industry have been in constant competition to imagine the most gruesome way of killing off Trump: stabbing, blowing up, burning, shooting, suffocating, decapitating, or beating. …

… Nonetheless, the current climate is becoming scary. Those who brag of wanting to violently attack the president should worry about where their boasts will finally lead if any of the thousands of James Hodgkinsons in America take such threats seriously and act on them.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...