Some of President Trump’s supporters clearly are out for blood. Figuratively and literally.
As first reported by The New York Times, American Priority, a pro-Trump group unveiled a macabre video to the president fans at his resort in Doral, Florida.
It depicts President Trump, his head superimposed onto the body of a mass killer, declaring bloody war on his critics — the media, of course, political opponents and anyone else who has issues with this so-called leader. And all this violence takes place in a church, no less — the “Church of Fake News.”
Scheduled speakers at the three-day conference included Donald Trump Jr. and former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Trump Jr. and Sanders said they did not see the reprehensible meme video. It’s unfortunate that their loyalty to his destructive president runs so deep that we suspect they would not be appalled if they had. They might have found it back-slappingly hilarious.
Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, tweeted on Monday that while Trump has not seen the video, “Based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns” it.
It’s unfortunate, again, that this unempathetic president likely would have found it funny before he expediently found it worthy of condemnation.
In the cartoonish video, Trump smacks the late Arizona Sen. John McCain in the back of the neck. He stabs television personality Rosie O’Donnell in the head. He hits California U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters, whom he frequently taunts with having a “low IQ.” He sets ablaze the head of Democratic presidential candidate and rival Bernie Sanders.
Not a shock. Not even a mild surprise, at this point. And that’s the problem.
After all, what’s fake violence when we have experienced people of faith mowed down by bullets, as they worshiped in churches and mosques and temple for real?
Three years into Trump’s administration, are we even shocked that such a video would exist? The video is the fruit of a time in which hatred of opposing voices and open mockery of “the other” are encouraged by people who should know better. You can even cut people’s heads off, as a joke on video. But, again, we have seen all of this for real.
To be fair, so much of such violence was unleashed long before Trump’s hate-filled campaign for the presidency ever began. But after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Sandy Hook, presidents led this country in its grief.
Without saying anything as blatant as “Go after ‘those’ people!” Trump has actively, volubly pointed his most unhinged followers in his targets’ direction. El Paso shooter had a racist manifesto citing an “invasion” of Hispanic immigrants. That’s a description the president has used time and again to describe the flow of Central Americans across the Southern border; that’s why journalists — Trump’s “enemy of the people” — are under attack, threatened with death, “swatted” by anonymous callers who send police to their homes on dangerous wild goose chases.
Alex Phillips, the event’s organizer, said in a statement to the Times on Sunday that, “Content was submitted by third parties and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference in any official capacity.”
So, basically, no one’s responsible. And, sadly, that’s is no surprise, either.