Just in case you were wondering how nasty the presidential race is likely to get, here is a good indication.
On Friday a fundraising event was being held in Winfield, Illinois for state Senator Martin Sandoval. The golf outing/fundraiser was well attended, with many supporters dressing up in costumes such as Marvel Comics superheroes. However, the $250 minimum donation event also included an alarming show of a mock assassination of President Donald Trump.
A man dressed in a “Mexican costume” and a Donald Trump mask had a fake assault weapon pointed at him while posing for a picture. The man then held his hands over his heart as if he had been shot.
The implication was clear. These Democrats supported a presidential assassination.
Senator Sandoval eventually offered a statement of apology, according to WCIA, a local news outlet.
The statement said, “The incident that took place is unacceptable. I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”
And governor JB Pritzker also made a statement:
“As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong. I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands.”
However, both statements are not nearly enough to make up for such a heinous act. And members of both parties agree.
Tim Schneider, Illinois Republican Party Chairman, said the apologies come “too little, too late,” and that those responsible for the act should be immediately fired, particularly, if they are staffers of Sandoval.
Kellyanne Conway, a devout Trump supporter, immediately took to social media asking for answers, saying, “Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this.”
And many of those who said they disagreed with the actions were Democrats themselves, saying such things as “I’m a Democrat and this is appalling.”
Maura Possley, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Democratic Party, said, “These images are unacceptable and dangerous. The place to make our voice hear against Trump is at the ballot box.”
However, it seems that those seeking a presidential nomination or who have made such a big deal about gun violence in recent weeks are staying quiet. How typically hypocritical of them.
Of course, the moment there is a situation in which Trump can be blamed for something, even if there is no logical reason to do, he is completely thrown under the bus and accused of inciting violence and hatred. However, when someone holds a gun, no matter how fake it is, up to another person in the name of politics, it’s deemed as acceptable by the same people.
These people are so quick to condemn mere words taken out of context and rain down accusations of racism and hate, and yet when one of their own participates in actions condoning violence on a social and very public platform, nothing is done.
If the words of President are to blame for two separate mass shootings and dozens of lives, what do you think an act like this will provoke? As Schneider says, “Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration.” He continued with, “It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way.”
But this isn’t the first depiction of presidential assassination that has happened in the last few years.
In January 2017, on Inauguration Day no less, Madonna told spoke to a crowd about a having a dream to blow up the White House. No apologies were made, and nothing was done to even condemn such talk.
Then in the summer of that same year, “Julius Caesar” was performed in New York City’s Central Park several times. In each show, the ancient Roman emperor was depicted as President Trump. (Spoiler Alert: Caesar is killed)
Others such as actor Johnny Depp and Broadway’s Carole Cook have also mentioned someone killing off Trump. And then, of course, there is Kathy Griffin’s effigy of Trump being beheaded. All of these were laughed at, agreed with, and even defended as a person’s right to free speech and expression.
And they are unlikely to be the last, especially when forced apologies are made and nothing is done to show that this a wrongful act.