Saying that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has fallen to a “new low” and made a statement “unprecedented in the history of American presidential politics,” former CBS News anchor Dan Rather ranted on Facebook.
The normally unfazed Rather was referring to a speech at a Trump campaign rally last Tuesday in Wilmington, North Carolina, when The Donald said, “Hillary wants to abolish—essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she get to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Seeing that as an invitation to instill violence against the Democratic candidate for President, Rather continued, “This is no longer about policy, civility, decency or even temperament. This is a direct threat of violence against a political rival. It is not just against the norms of American politics, it raises a serious question of whether it is against the law.”
The reaction of LGBT leaders was immediate, with calls for the FBI to do a criminal investigation of his remarks. The disguised threat came only a day after Trump revealed that he would be attending an anti-gay event in Orlando on the two-month anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre.
“Just when you think Donald Trump and Marco Rubio couldn’t go any lower, they announce plans to court anti-LGBTQ activists in Orlando. On Thursday, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are going to seek votes from people who fundamentally believe we are not equal, who support dangerous and harmful conversion therapy and who have worked to export anti-LGBTQ hate abroad,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.
“Donald Trump would put at risk all the progress the LGBTQ community has made over the last eight years. And we know all too well that Marco Rubio — who has refused to stand up for LGBTQ Floridians time and again — would be his loyal accomplice. Because of elected officials like Marco Rubio, LGBTQ Floridians remain at risk of being fired or denied a job because of who they are or whom they love.”
While many believe that Hillary Clinton will act in support of gay rights, she is equally as outspoken on her intentions to seek some sort of legislation regarding gun control, which sparked Trump’s latest accusations that had even Republicans questioning his reasoning.
“During the primary season, as Donald Trump’s bizarre outbursts helped him crush the competition, I thought he was being crazy like a fox,” journalist Eugene Robinson wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post this week.
“Now I am increasingly convinced that he’s just plain crazy,” Robinson continued. “I’m serious about that. Leave aside for the moment Trump’s policies, which in my opinion range from the unconstitutional to the un-American to the potentially catastrophic. At this point, it would be irresponsible to ignore the fact that Trump’s grasp on reality appears to be tenuous at best.”
Rather said on Facebook that he expects that will Trump will undoubtably issue an explanation, which he has, glossing over his statement as a misunderstanding meant to get gun rights advocates out to vote.
To Rather, however, “Once the words are out there, they cannot be taken back. That is what inciting violence means.
“To anyone who still pretends this is a normal election of Republican against Democrat, history is watching. And I suspect its verdict will be harsh.
“Many have tried to do a side-shuffle and issue statements saying they strongly disagree with his rhetoric but still support the candidate. That is becoming woefully insufficient. The rhetoric is the candidate.
“This cannot be treated as just another outrageous moment in the campaign. We will see whether major newscasts explain how grave and unprecedented this is and whether the headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers do it justice. We will soon know whether anyone who has publicly supported Trump explains how they can continue to do.
“We are a democratic republic governed by the rule of law. We are an honest, fair and decent people. In trying to come to terms with today’s discouraging development, the best I can do is to summon our greatest political poet Abraham Lincoln for perspective:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Lincoln used these stirring words to end his First Inaugural Address. It was the eve of the Civil War and sadly his call for sanity, cohesion and peace was met with horrific violence that almost left our precious Union asunder. We cannot let that happen again.”