Naming names: The list of notables encouraging violence against the president is growing

by WorldTribune Staff, August 2, 2019

“One trait of the Democratic field of presidential candidates is always to sound further to the left than any of their primary rivals,” columnist Victor Davis Hanson noted.

“Apparently, a similar habit is to see who can most effectively imagine beating up the president,” Hanson wrote for American Greatness on July 31.

Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker and Robert De Niro have all spoken of envisioning punching President Donald Trump.

“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,” Hanson wrote.

According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, there were 23 prosecutions for threats against President Donald Trump or those in the presidential line of succession last year, a 130 percent increase over 2017, when there were 10.

Hanson listed some of the notables who have encouraged violence against the president:

  • Joe Biden: In March 2018, Biden huffed, “They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.” A year later, he doubled down on his physical threats. “The idea that I’d be intimidated by Donald Trump? … He’s the bully that I’ve always stood up to. He’s the bully that used to make fun when I was a kid that I stutter, and I’d smack him in the mouth.”
  • Sen. Cory Booker: “Trump is a guy who you understand he hurts you, and my testosterone sometimes makes me want to feel like punching him, which would be bad for this elderly, out-of-shape man that he is if I did that. This physically weak specimen.”
  • Robert De Niro: He 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.
  • Kathy Griffin: The D-lister issued a video where she held up a bloody facsimile of a decapitated Trump head.
  • Madonna: On the day Trump was inaugurated, the pop music performer told a large crowd outside the White House that she had thought of blowing it up.

Hanson noted that that kind of rhetoric “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. Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, was shot and nearly killed. Three other people were also shot and wounded.”

Celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Snoop Dogg, George Lopez, Moby, Rosie O’Donnell, Mickey Rourke and Larry Wilmore “seem to relish the media attention as they discuss or demonstrate what they consider to be creative ways to kill the president,” Hanson wrote.

“It is hard to determine whether their tweets and outbursts are designed to restore sagging careers, are heartfelt expressions of pure hatred, or both.”

Trump and his critics, Hanson noted, “often go at it relentlessly in interviews, in Twitter wars, and on television and radio. No insult seems too petty for Trump to ignore.

“Yet progressives like Biden and Booker seem to think that by bragging of wanting to do violence to the president, they will rev up their base and win attention, as if physical violence is justified by Trump’s unorthodox presidency.

“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 upon them.”

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