Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal occasionally operates as a counterweight to Fox News evening shows, tilting back toward sanity. It doesn’t take a lot of political sophistication to see the danger Trump brings to the national political scene. Last week, when Trump said that McConnell’s actions mean that McConnell has a DEATH WISH, all caps in the original, it was read as a call to action. There was no way to get around it. Trump often seems to want to normalize violent political responses.
And the Wall Street Editorial Board has seen enough:
We live in a polarized political age when rabid partisans don’t need provocation to resort to violence. This makes Donald Trump’s latest verbal assault against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell all the more reckless.
The “death wish” rhetoric is ugly even by Mr. Trump’s standards and deserves to be condemned. Mr. Trump’s apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish, but that isn’t what he wrote.
No, that is not what he wrote, and he emphasized that particular aspect of his message by taking it to all-caps, as in “Hear me!”
It’s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell. Many supporters took Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about former Vice President Mike Pence all too seriously on Jan. 6.
Five weeks from Election Day, Mr. Trump could be working and spending money to elect a GOP Congress or to help his home state of Florida recover from Hurricane Ian.
Except that is not Donald Trump. He certainly isn’t going to go and walk around destroyed communities. He surely sees that as a waste of his own personal time that could be better spent golfing or lashing out in grievance. He will wait for the next boat parade, which will be some time on the Gulf Coast. As for helping to elect a Republican Congress, Trump only does that in the context of 100-minute speeches in “rallies: during which he gets to celebrate himself while also unleashing his anger, which is how Trump found himself ripping Mitch McConnell.
Instead he’s attacking Mr. McConnell and his wife as part of a personal political vendetta, and putting every Republican candidate on the spot to respond to questions about the Trump rant. Mr. Trump always puts himself first, and with this rhetoric he may put others at genuine risk of harm.
Superbly summarized. The personal political vendetta is related to the fact that McConnell didn’t personally keep Trump in the White House, as if that is possible. And, yes, Trump’s rage is increasingly a genuine risk of harm, both at an individual level like Mitch McConnell, and more generally speaking regarding his statement about how “Americans won’t stand for Trump being indicted, calling on his supporters to riot and lash out with violence should he ever be charged.
Trump has already motivated stochastic terrorism in the past (El Paso, January 6th) and is only pushing it harder now.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.