William Kennedy Smith and Jean Kennedy Smith, who are the nephew and sister of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, took some time to remember their slain relatives and remind today’s Republican party that threats of political violence and assassination are nothing to be taken lightly.
Donald Trump told his supporters recently, that “Second Amendment people” would be able to stop Hillary from appointing Supreme Court justices if she were to be elected president. There’s only one way to interpret this. He told people that if Hillary wins, they should assassinate her.
The entire Republican party, except for maybe one or two oddballs from the bunch, defended his remarks. They said he didn’t REALLY mean to kill her, even though that’s the only way you can logically interpret what he meant.
Then the story changed. He meant it “sarcastically.” I don’t believe him. Donald doesn’t care about other people. If Hillary got shot, he wouldn’t care. If she died days after inauguration he’d act like it was no big deal. He wouldn’t see his responsibility for it. That’s the problem. It isn’t a freaking joke. It isn’t someone else’s fault that she died, if he’s the one that said they should kill her.
We have cases of political leaders arranging the assassination of rivals. Vladimir Putin does it. I know that conservatives have a weird bromance with Putin while simultaneously hating him, but that would quite literally be the equivalent of what we’d have as a leader if this sort of rhetoric became acceptable.
John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed. Martin Luther King was shot and killed. They were all forces for change against the “America” that conservatives wanted to keep in place, and they all died because of it. Barack Obama is the most threatened president in U.S. history. Political assassination is a legacy of American governance, and it’s not a thing to be used as an avenue to deliver campaign rhetoric.
Now we have a presidential candidate advocating for the death of his political rival AFTER she’s elected. It isn’t even about winning for him anymore. It’s about punishing a woman for being better than him. And what makes it all worse is that an entire political party is embracing it, rather than rebuking it.
Featured image via bobbykennedy.com