Donald Trump Is Voraciously Bloodthirsty

[Content Note: Incitement; warmongering.]

We need to have a blunt conversation about this: Donald Trump wants violence — and he wants it badly.

He wants it at the southern border. He wants it all over the country, in mass shootings that he has no inclination to contain. He wants it at abortion clinics, at the houses of worship of minority religions, directed at marginalized people. He wants it in at least one war theater on which he can put his own name, because the leftover wars of George W. Bush aren't good enough.

I know it is a bold thing to assert, that the President of the United States actively wants violence. But the evidence is in, and it is compelling.

As I have been documenting since August 2016 — when Trump bellowed at a rally: "Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick— [boos from audience] If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although, the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know." — Trump is waging a campaign of stochastic terrorism.
Stochastic terrorism is "the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf."

That is: Leverage visibility and influence to dehumanize your enemies and cast them as threats, then sit back and wait for your most radical and/or unstable supporters to take violent action. It helps significantly if you've also leveraged your power to give access to deadly weaponry to as many people as possible.
Last night, Trump gave a speech at a campaign rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, during which he made headlines by "joking" about shooting migrants and refugees at the border.

His "joke" took much the same tone as his "joke" about a Second Amendment solution to Hillary Clinton: "We can't let [border agents] use weapons. We can't. Other countries do; we can't. I wouldn't never do that. But how do you stop these people?" he asked his crowd, one of whom helpfully offered, "Shoot them!" in reply. Trump grins and shakes his head; the audience made excited, appreciative noises. "That's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement. Only in the Panhandle!"

He just never knows what the gosh darn solution is to whatever terrible, existential threat about which he's railing — whether it's the specter of Hillary Clinton judicial appointments or his invocation of hordes of criminal invaders at the border — but, gee, maybe his deplorable base has an idea. Do they? Golly, he doesn't approve of violence, nosir, not him, but maybe his crowd has some thoughts...?

It's the same construction. It's an invitation to fill in the heavily pregnant pauses he leaves dangling over his amped-up crowds with the suggestion, the idea, of violence.

That moment is being reported this morning, but, as I noted on Twitter, Aaron Rupar did a video thread of Trump's speech, and a whole bunch of it is structured as stochastic terrorism, not just that one moment.

For instance:

He talked yet again about Hillary Clinton losing the election, knowing damn well it would invite "Lock her up!" chants — which it did. And he stood and basked in the seething chants with a huge, satisfied grin on his face.

He claimed that "Nothing is more dangerous than the Democrats' crazy immigration agenda." Which naturally incited a round of "Build that wall!" chants.

He returned to his June 16, 2015 announcement speech — in which he asserted: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. ...They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists." — reiterating and doubling down on that idea last night: "Do you actually think that the country is giving us their finest? No! No, they're giving us some rough people. I won't say it. If you remember when I made the speech at the base of Trump Tower, I talked about what's happening. I mentioned the word 'rape.' I was absolutely — by the fake news media, they went after — Guess what? That speech was so mild compared to what's actually happening."

He again mocked asylum-seeking people as stooges and liars, and again advanced the same "invasion" conspiracy theory about refugees that motivated the Tree of Life shooter and again claimed that women are being taped up and trafficked across the border.

He again asserted that "Democrats are aggressively pushing late-term abortion, allowing children to be ripped from their mother's womb, right up until the moment of birth."

Each of these talking points are things he repeats along the campaign trail, in interviews, and on Twitter. He's hammering home the ideas that his enemies must be stopped at all costs, that migrants and refugees are dangerous, that the Democrats want open borders and are murdering children.

And then he "jokes" about how he doesn't know how all of these people, all of us, can be stopped.

Meanwhile, after his recent lengthy phone call with Vladimir Putin, Trump has suddenly changed his tune on Venezuela, reportedly justifying his about-face thus:
Trump is questioning his administration's aggressive strategy in Venezuela following the failure of a U.S.-backed effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro, complaining he was misled about how easy it would be to replace the socialist strongman with a young opposition figure, according to administration officials and White House advisers.

The president's dissatisfaction has crystallized around national security adviser John Bolton and what Trump has groused is an interventionist stance at odds with his view that the United States should stay out of foreign quagmires.

Trump has said in recent days that Bolton wants to get him "into a war" — a comment that he has made in jest in the past but that now betrays his more serious concerns, one senior administration official said.
That might be a more convincing excuse for abruptly changing his position after speaking with Putin if Trump weren't fully onboard with Bolton war-shopping in Iran and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weren't currently in Iraq peddling some bullshit about Iran planning to use proxies to strike U.S. forces there.

This president wants bloodshed. He wants it within our borders and on foreign soil.

I desperately wish that were not the case. I desperately wish that I could fundamentally disagree with Donald Trump on everything, and still not believe him to be a sadistic wreck.

But malice is the agenda. And people are going to get hurt. People are already getting hurt. And dying. Because the president wants it just so.

If Democratic leadership cannot find any other reason to impeach this president, despite the preponderance of compelling rationales, perhaps they will consider the urgency of doing anything and everything to remove this man from office, before even more people end up dead.

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