Within the past week, we've had one man sending bombs to nearly every person on Donald Trump's personal shit list, we've had a man with a history of making racist remarks kill two black people at a Louisville Kroger, and now we've had a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, committed by a virulent anti-Semite who was afraid of immigrants "slaughtering" his people.
Were Donald Trump a normal president, or even just a normal human being, the bombings this week might have made him want to take a beat and at least try to be a president to all of America, or at least try not to act like the biggest asshole that ever lived. He is not, however, a normal president or a normal human being.
Prior to his rally in North Carolina last night, Trump spoke briefly with the press and when asked whether or not the recent bombings would lead him to tone down his rhetoric, said that he could, actually, "tone it up."
And last night, to a crowd of however many people in Charlotte, North Carolina, he did, indeed, "tone it up." He got them to cheer "CNN Sucks." Which was just a little creepy given that one of the bombs was sent to CNN.
Trump delivers scripted remarks abt bombing, ending with shout out to crowd chanting CNN sucks. https://t.co/koHgcVIe7X— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall) 1540598401.0
He then tried to blame "the media" for the uptick in violence and division, because they criticize him and criticize his supporters. For the record, "the media" did not try to bomb anyone this week. He takes care to point out that the Right did not use the Steve Scalise shooting to try and score political points, despite the fact that every single time anyone on the Right does anything crazy and violent, they start screaming about Steve Scalise. Also, when Steve Scalise was shot, people on the Left did not go around screaming "FALSE FLAG!" and instead merely focused on the obvious need for gun control.
Remarkable. Trump makes discussion if bomb scare an attack on media and Dems stirring up climate of violence, attac… https://t.co/uL9qjvZWyh— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall) 1540598717.0
The only "political points" anyone is trying to "score" with these bombings are whatever goddamned points are required to get this shit to stop happening. We would like it a lot if the Right could stop trying to scare the crap out of people, so that unstable people don't take it to heart and think murdering people is the only way they can keep themselves and others safe. That's the political points we would like to "score."
The immediate well he went to is that "the media" was saying very unfair things about his supporters because one of them went and sent some bombs to people, and he just wanted to stand up for them. There is a purpose to this. It makes these people enraged, and he has to keep them enraged because that's how he keeps their loyalty and their attention. He creates monsters and then tells people he is their protector, and they fall for it every goddamned time. Sometimes, they fall for it so hard that they go around trying to bomb people.
Trump then kept with his theme of attacking all the people who had just had bombs sent to them, because gee, what could possibly go wrong?
Trump cheers “Lock her up!” Chant about “Crooked Hillary” https://t.co/xb2XAoog64— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall) 1540600046.0
Trump mocks and leads cheer against Rep Maxine Waters, one target of Trump-backing mail bomber Cesar Sayoc. https://t.co/vKqBjaMmkz— Josh Marshall (@Josh Marshall) 1540601592.0
If Trump doesn't want the media saying mean things about him, perhaps he ought to consider not pulling shit like this right after a terrorist attack. Perhaps he could be more concerned about the human beings who could have died than he is about trying to score his own "political points." Perhaps he could tone it down, just a little bit.
But he can't tone it down. Because screaming "lock her up" like a mob of pitchfork-bearing villagers is the only thing that makes these people feel good, because the insults and the cruelty are what they came to see, it's what they are there for, and it's why they're goddamned dangerous.
Trump doesn't care if people die as a result of his bullshit -- because even if that does happen, he will create a new narrative ("It is the MEDIA who is wrong!") and stick to it, and each time, that narrative will serve to radicalize people even further. There is no bottom.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse