What Trump’s “Bloodbath” Remark Reveals

What Trump’s “Bloodbath” Remark Reveals

The U.S. media recently put aside their coverage of important stories at home and around the world to weigh in on Trump’s “bloodbath” remark. For those who somehow managed to miss the hoopla, here is a brief summary.

While speaking to an audience in Ohio about the negative impact of Biden’s support for importing Mexican-made cars to the U.S., former president Trump made this remark: “Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s gonna be a bloodbath. That’s going to be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country.”

Then came the avalanche of responses. The mainstream media immediately claimed the statement revealed, once more, the dangerous tendencies in Trump they had long been reporting. The general theme was, “There he goes again, not only saying crazy things but in this case threatening violence to the American people.” More than one commentator branded him a “threat to democracy.” A number of Democrat leaders agreed, and some repeated their well-rehearsed litany of reasons to keep him out of the White House.

The Republicans’ response was fast and firm. Most said the media was taking Trump out of context. One said, “It’s a lie to say the former president was calling for physical violence–he wasn’t.”  Another argued that he was referring simply to “cars being made in Mexico and imported into the U.S.,” thereby hurting the country financially. Yet another said the mainstream media clearly “want to depict Trump as a tyrant who has blood on his hands and more to come.” The more enterprising commentators ran to the archives, found numerous tapes of democrats referring in a similar vein to “bloodbaths” and accordingly accused them of hypocrisy.

Not surprisingly, Trump jumped into the fray via Truth Social, with this remark: “The Fake News Media and their Democratic Partners in the destruction of our nation pretended to be shocked at my use of the word BLOODBATH, even though they fully understood that I was simply referring to imports allowed by Crooked Joe Biden, which are killing the automobile industry.”

After assessing the rhetorical blows struck by each side of the aisle, I have decided that both sides should feel ashamed rather than proud of their statements. Here’s why:

FIRST THE DEMOCRATS:  During the Middle Ages, it was considered good sport to throw sticks and stones at bears tied to stakes. Then our ancestors realized that doing so was barbaric and sick. Today’s Democrats need to realize that singling out an opponent for years of unrelenting abuse have been barbaric, and manufacturing charges to impoverish and/or incarcerate him are sick.

NEXT THE REPUBLICANS:  The rule that applies here is that defending the indefensible does no good—it only offends intelligent people and insults truth. Yet that is exactly what Republicans have done with Trump’s reference to “bloodbath.” A quick look at major dictionaries (Merriam-Webster, Free, Oxford) reveals these definitions of the term: A great slaughter; a notably fierce, violent, or destructive contest or struggle; a major economic disaster; savage, indiscriminate killing; a massacre; indiscriminate slaughter; ruthless slaughter. A situation in which many people are killed violently. 

A single dictionary meaning of “economic disaster,” out of ten or more violent meanings, in no way justified Trump’s supporters rushing to his defense. They should have instead expressed disappointment with his word choice. He has admitted (for example to Howard Kurtz) that he has used inflammatory words like “vermin” and “poisoning of the blood” about illegals to drive media coverage. And the world is aware of his penchant for praising himself, demonizing his opponents, and creating hurtful names for not only them but for those who simply disagree with him. “DeSanctimonious,” for example. These habits are equally disappointing.

I supported Donald Trump despite those faults because of the sensible platform he ran on. The fact that he not only kept his promises but went far beyond them was astounding because he did so while Democrats were doing their best to thwart his efforts and destroy him personally.

I am supporting him now because Biden’s programs have put our country on the fast train to destruction, and we need Trump’s expertise more than before. The problem is that the forces arrayed against Trump now are stronger and more numerous than ever and they have no doubt brainwashed many voters to oppose him. For that reason, in the present campaign Trump needs to focus on how he will solve the problems the Democrats have created, and that requires shelving his attacks on the media as well as his self-praising, exaggeration, demonizing, and inflammatory phrasing.

Equally important, for the good of the country, Trump’s supporters need to put aside their fawning indulgence of him and defense of everything he says or does, and instead be balanced in their remarks by praising him when he is right and chastising him when he isn’t.

Copyright © 2024 by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero. All rights reserved.

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Vincent Ryan Ruggiero