What assessment to make of Donald "the Donald" Trump's latest... gaffe? Well, the kerfuffle comes from a speech given in North Carolina, where the speech went:
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” Trump said to boos from the crowd. “By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks,” he then added. “Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.”
Wait a minute (and wtf?) Did he just call for his supporters to assassinate his opponent (or at least her judicial nominees) in the event she prevails in the election? As Kevin Drum correctly tells us, it would have been easy enough to just write this off as yet another "inappropriate" statement by a candidate who can't seem to make another kind. Indeed-- simply a bad taste joke--Hillary came to his damned wedding for Chrissake... he doesn't seriously want her rubbed out does he? [BTW, Mr. Drum wonders if, now that House Speaker Paul Ryan has won his primary, there is anything that will make Ryan "unendorse" Mr. Trump... I'll just say, "maybe, but not how you bet."]
Back to our story. DOES HE SERIOUSLY WANT SOMEONE TO GUN DOWN HILLARY CLINTON? Naturally, his campaign argues that this is a rallying call to his Second Amendment friends to come out and vote... even though, unquestionably, the context is if Hillary wins (as Kevin Drum correctly points out). As usual, Trump is stepping on his own message. But hey, he just says whatever crap comes into his head... if it incites violence... well, he's a (perceived to be) rich, White male, so... no consequences. Hell, there haven't been adverse consequences to him for any bad decision he's ever made in seventy years... so why start now?
The great Matt Taibbi observes that a clear influence on Trump is pro wrestler Ravishing Rick Rude... or maybe this "Bobby the Brain" guy (who has his own kind of Boris Johnson 'do...)
Or not. Speaking of hair...
I suppose the question is, now that we have reached the point where someone who apparently can't discern statements and behavior appropriate for the WWE and that appropriate for running for the Presidency of the United States is now a major party's candidate for that office... what now? As Mr. Taibbi has observed, Trump has captured the fact that Presidential campaigns have devolved into a sick joke, and exploited it into his present position. We know for sure that millions of people are probably willing to just say "fuck it" with their vote (or to paraphrase Hillary herself... what difference does it make?) .
The question for the rest of us... is whether we believe the Presidency itself is ready for a similar devolution.