No, he didn’t pull the trigger. He just gave
permission to the guy who did.
Look: For decades it’s been the lie of
NRA-obsessed republicans that “guns don’t kill people, people do.” Because no gun
ever pulled its own trigger, republicans thought they could fool people into
being against gun-control laws.
And you know what? The argument worked, despite
its patent absurdity. That’s why we have so few national laws limiting gun and
ammunition use, which in turn is why we have so many mass murders. The NRA and
its republican bootlickers hornswaggled the American people, particularly the
lower-educated gun freaks who vote republican.
A similar argument was made by Nazi defendants
at the Nuremberg Trials. Senior military commanders and top members of Hitler’s
government claimed they couldn’t possibly be held responsible for the Deaths
because they never personally killed anyone. The Generals didn’t personally
load Jews into the gas chambers. The top political leaders didn’t personally strip
the bodies of gold teeth and jewelry and then stuff them into the ovens. So how
could they be accused or convicted of mass murder?
Of course, that’s not how the Tribunal’s judges
saw things. They did convict the Generals and politicians of crimes against
humanity and other war crimes, and they did hang dozens of them. A handful
escaped the hangman’s noose by committing suicide, but otherwise, History has
recorded that the Third Reich received its just desserts on the gallows.
So much for the republican argument! trump and
virtually all of the rest of the republican cult actually seem to think they’re
getting away with this stuff. They think that all they have to do is call for
better mental health treatment (whatever the hell that means), and people won’t
blame them for the massacres. They have the chutzpah (or self-delusion) to
believe that they can peddle this crap to a public that’s credulous enough to
Well, maybe they can to the 30% who are so
stupid they still think trump had the biggest inaugural crowd in history. As
for the rest of us, fugeddaboutit. That’s the lesson of Nuremberg. In order to
be guilty, you don’t just have to be the maniac that pulled the trigger. You’re
equally guilty if you incited the violence, if you aided and abetted it through
your words and deeds, if you gave dog whistles to the murderers and
wink-wink-nod-nod “apologies” you didn’t really mean, and if you support
propaganda outlets, like fox “news,” that peddle race hatred 24/7. If you do
these things, you’re guilty. And you deserve the same penalty as those who
pulled the triggers.
America is going to have Nuremberg-style trials
for republicans. I imagine they’ll be held in Washington, D.C., perhaps in the
U.S. Supreme Court building. A list of those who will be indicted and tried
begins, obviously, with Donald J. Trump, but it will include his senior
political allies: Stephen Miller, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy,
Kellyanne Conway, Michael Pence, Clarence Thomas and dozens of others. It also
will include trump’s military leadership: Joseph Dunford and Patrick Shanahan,
for starters. And lest we forget that at Nuremberg the Justices also convicted
Hitler’s chief propagandists, so too will the Washington trials charge Sean
Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson and the rest of the white nationalists
in the media with inciting and being accessories to mass murder. They, too,
along with their cohorts, will face the choice of being executed or facing long
imprisonment, or of committing suicide.
Sound harsh? Yes. Harsh times call for harsh
words. But we are in harsh times, brought on by decades of a republican party
stoking hatred, resentment and violence, and now led by the worst president
ever, an unstable narcissist and pathological liar interested only in sexual
gratification, power and money. The tea party—incorrigible deplorables—started
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