Sorry it’s been so long since I posted. I just moved less than two weeks ago, and I’m still having Internet issues.
Recently there was an event that should have provoked a firestorm of outrage from Democrats. The level of denunciation I’ve seen has been minuscule. Either genuine human anger or calculated political planning should have made it a flashpoint. It’s been less than a wet firecracker.
I’m referring to New Hampshire representative and Trump advisor Al Baldasaro’s call for Hillary Clinton’s execution. He said that Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason.” You can’t get any more explicit than that. Trump has, as far as I know, not said a word repudiating Baldasaro. A Trump spokesman has merely said that “Mr. Trump and the campaign do not agree,” as if whether or not to kill one’s opponent is merely a detail that’s of no importance.
In an earlier post on this blog, I noted that Baldasaro admires Franklin D. Roosevelt’s sending Japanese-Americans to concentration camps.
The Boston Globe had a good piece. It says:
In a normal political environment, Baldasaro’s words would be swiftly condemned and he’d be sent home to New Hampshire. Since we don’t live in a normal political environment, we get comments like this from Hope Hicks, Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, but we don’t agree with his comments.” She also helpfully added, “Mr. Trump does not feel this way.”
This is not good enough.
Quite simply, there is no possible way that calling for the execution of a presidential candidate is remotely acceptable — and it needs to be condemned without equivocation.
Why hasn’t everyone been responding to Baldasaro this way? It goes well beyond even Trump’s usual demagoguery. A speech with plagiarized text got more attention.
The only thing I can think is that people aren’t capable of actually being outraged any more. Everything’s a matter of indifference to them, unless they get orders from on high to take offense. Once they get their instructions, their being offended is the most important thing in the world, but without it, what politicians do and say doesn’t actually matter to them. With so much going on at the Republican Convention, nobody remembered to send down a memo saying “Calling for the execution of a political opponent is bad.” So people just look at the news item and have no personal reaction to it.
This makes very little sense and says something very disturbing about people, but I don’t have a better answer right now.