Donald Trump is a man renowned for his loose talk and coarse language. Many experts fear that the former president, with a fanatical following among Republican voters, is ratcheting up his violent rhetoric as the 2024 Presidential Election grounds on and as his increasing legal challenges mount.
For many, Donald Trump is exhibiting the same dangerous behavior that purportedly instigated the January 6 riots at Capitol Hill three years ago.
Donald Trump’s Loose Talk
Trump’s many critics argue that the forty-fifth president has called for violence directed against an assortment of people.
This includes former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Mark Milley (ret.) for his unauthorized conversations with his Chinese military counterpart during the height of the chaos that defined Trump’s legal challenge to the outcome of the 2020 Election.
There are Trump’s vicious social media attacks against New York Attorney General, Letitia James.
Of Milley’s behavior, Trump insinuated that the retired four-star general would have been shot for treason in another time. As for James, who is relentlessly prosecuting Trump in New York for a variety of alleged crimes, the former President derided the African-American woman as a “racist” who was “corrupt,” and “out of control.”
Meanwhile, Trump stopped over in California and, upon seeing the decrepit condition that the Democratic Party-led Golden State was in, ranted about how, under his reign, looters would be shot.
The thing about Trump is that he rarely explicitly comes out and calls for violence. Very often, Trump makes sweeping and offensive comments that stoke his base. That, in turn, can sometimes trigger already disturbed individuals to take extreme actions.
In fact, one could make the case that, while he may not have intended to initiate an actual insurrection on January 6, Trump’s incendiary comments just before the January 6 riots took place—coupled with a months-long effort on Trump-friendly social media pages, and in darker places, like the 4Chan and 8Chan message boards—incited the unruly crowd into an insurrection.
As with everything related to Donald Trump, though, there is more than one side to this story. The media would have you believe that Trump is seeking to kill his opponents. He probably wouldn’t mind seeing them hurt. He’s a visceral, vindictive guy.
But the targets of his recent ire are not honest actors.
They don’t deserve violence, and if violence does befall them, the former president will have to account for that (since undoubtedly his words will have incited some lunatics to engage in violence, as Trump’s words may have done on January 6).
In the case of Gen. Milley, though, Trump alleges Milley completely ignored the proper chain of command. He spoke out of turn with his Chinese military counterpart. In that conversation, according to Milley, he explicitly outlined why the U.S. military was not a threat to China’s military during America’s domestic crisis in 2020.
The former General then expanded on those remarks with his Chinese counterpart by insisting that, if America were about to attack China, he’d let the Chinese know that (if Milley actually followed through on that promise, and if war had been initiated, Milley would have jeopardized the lives of every American servicemember involved in the openings of such a conflict).
So, Milley was effectively freelancing; operating outside of his proper chain of command and taking it upon himself to set U.S. defense policy, without inputs from either the commander-in-chief or his secretary of defense.
Similarly, the hyper-partisan New York prosecutor, Letitia James, was elected to her post by promising to use her powers as a prosecutor to endlessly sue former President Donald Trump. That’s not because she honestly believes Trump broke every law imaginable (though, he certainly did violate many). It’s because she’s using her legal position to pursue a political enemy (while elevating her own political agenda and career).
Just recently, James brought what amounted to a frivolous case to the New York Supreme Court, in which she claimed the former president had inflated the value of his properties for years to gain favorable loans.
The only problem with James’s case was that the bulk of her case rested on examples that were far beyond the statute of limitations.
In fact, the presiding judge (who was clearly sympathetic to her cause) castigated James for having even brought the case before his court because so many of her charges were beyond the statute of limitations (and she knew that they were).
Whether it be Milley’s unconstitutional challenge to Trump’s power as president or James’ wanton abuse of her legal power for partisan purposes, the former president is fighting back the only way he knows how to: viciously and irresponsibly.
It isn’t right. But there it is. Perhaps everyone should go back to their neutral corners, cool down politically, and take the stage after everyone calmed down.
Destroying our constitutional norms because of Donald Trump simply isn’t worth it.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon. He writes conservative opinion articles for this publication.
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