President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Yesterday, the President set off a firestorm by tweeting out a series of tweets stating to “liberate” various states like Michigan and Virginia. All of those mentioned are suffering under ridiculously illogical restrictions, with Michigan’s Gov. Whitmer taking center stage on that front.
A normal person might interpret Trump’s tweet in the most probable fashion. Namely, that he’s asking governors to drop the pointless, draconian lock downs in favor of the guidelines he set forth, which still include heavy social distancing and a phased re-opening.
But normal people aren’t plentiful in political life, so you get stuff like this.
Republicans will turn a blind eye & too many in the press will focus on “tone.” But history books will say: In April of 2020, when the pandemic had already claimed 35,000 lives, the President of the United States incited people to storm their statehouses with AR-15s and AK-47s. pic.twitter.com/44slncrsey
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) April 17, 2020
I’m just shocked this guy flamed out before the first states voted in the primary, aren’t you?
Let’s not normalize this: the President of the United States is encouraging citizens to engage in armed rebellion.
He sent this tweet a day after his supporters showed up with assault weapons at state capitols. He knows what’s he’s doing. https://t.co/25XGY5BbmA
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) April 17, 2020
Nowhere does Trump ask people to “storm their statehouses,” nor an armed rebellion, though a good old fashioned protest might be in order. But it wasn’t just Beto and Murphy mouthing off. The Washington Post is accusing Trump’s tweets of breaking the law because of course they are.
Perspective: Trump’s "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" tweets incite insurrection.
That’s illegal. https://t.co/tVq30Y8Lmr
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 18, 2020
That kind of hysterical nonsense passes for intelligent thought within the mainstream media. That federal law requires intent wrapped in a direct, specific charge, not a vague tweet pointed at states currently suspending constitutional rights without a legal backing to do so.
No one is grabbing their gun and forming a militia to overthrow their state government based on Trump saying the word “liberate.” To pretend that’s what Trump meant is to be so willfully obtuse that one’s opinion is completely compromised. Further, to think that Trump said that word based on some grand plan to call for insurrection but to then be able to deny it later is to credit Trump with forethought he simply doesn’t possess. How do I know? Because I’m assured by everyone now freaking out that Trump doesn’t have the capacity to think things through. You can’t have it both ways. Is he a loudmouth who just pops off or an evil genius who plans every word?
I’ll end by noting that a lot of conservatives lost their lids at the tweets as well. If you are still freaking out and feeling the need to virtue signal over every Trump tweet, perhaps it’s time to just mute the guy on your feed and find something else to do. This is who Trump is. He’s going to rant, use imprecise language, and go right at people. Whether it’s always politically smart will be a question answered in the coming election, but there’s nothing gained by the continued gnashing of teeth. Well, maybe a few Jake Tapper retweets, but those are hardly valuable.