Hold on to your butts, folks. We’re already at that point in the election cycle where, even if you do your best to steer clear, you cannot totally avoid hearing about the election. IN AUGUST.

Something something marathon not a sprint joke.

If you are alive, you have probably heard about Donald Trump’s most recent awful gaffe (until tomorrow anyway). In case you’re one of the lucky few (or dead?!) who managed to escape it, here’s the short version:

Donald Trump “accidentally” called for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.
Yeah. That is a thing that happened.  Here’s how it went down.

The Trumpster was giving a speech in North Carolina–off script because that’s always a good idea–and was trying to talk about how important it is that Hillary not be allowed to appoint Supreme Court justices because she wants to repeal the second amendment and blah blah trump trump yuck yuck yuck. But then! Oh then. He said this:

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know. But — but I’ll tell you what. That will be a horrible day. “

Now, look: I watched that whole Trump speech. On purpose even. And as much as I loathe the guy I don’t honestly think he was calling for the assassination of his political opponent. I think he’s a terrible speaker and is not nearly the off-the-cuff master of oration he seems to think he is. His verbal inner monologue approach to these speeches gets him in trouble because he is allergic to facts and in love with bluster. I think some of his campaign spokespeople are probably right: he was talking about NRA lobbyists and activists who are so good at getting powerful people to do their bidding getting in the way of an anti-NRA justice’s approval.

But words, y’know. They’re hard and stuff.

And the spokespeople saying Trump was kidding? They can bite all of us.

The problem isn’t that Trump’s campaign is trying to walk this back using two conflicting stories, making it even harder to ferret out what he really meant.

The problem is that there are people who believe in Donald Trump so whole heartedly and take him so literally that they will decide that he does want them to try to go after Hillary Clinton. This is a huge problem, not just for Trump and Hillary, but for the Secret Service Agents whose jobs are literally to put themselves between gunfire and the candidates.

The other problem is that “just kidding” is not rhetoric you want a President to think is a perfectly acceptable go-to when he or she says something inflammatory and carelessly causes an international crisis. Why? Not just because it is in poor taste. But because it signals that he doesn’t take himself or his responsibilities seriously.

Scary as it is, Trump’s words have real power and authority now. And that he either doesn’t get or, worse, doesn’t care about the responsibility that comes with that? That’s scary.

The other annoying thing about this whole did he/didn’t he two step is that it completely ignores what he said a little bit later:

“If you – we can add I think the National Rifle Association, we can add the Second Amendment to the Justices – they almost go – in a certain way, hand in hand.”


(I can’t drop the actual F-bomb, yall. My Mom reads this!)

If you want to read a transcript of the whole speech, you can find it here. I don’t recommend it. I do recommend sending the transcriptionist a fruit basket, though, because wow. Wow. This isn’t word salad. This is a guy who is trying to make a word smoothie but never remembers to put the lid on the blender.

Like this? Want to help me do more independent reporting? This is a handy link to my support page! 

And here’s a handy link to my Twitter, where I talk about this stuff all day

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