Plausible deniability 

A few weeks ago we got to witness the debacle of the Republican convention, an affair in which each speaker, not to be outdone by the previous, ratcheted up the rhetoric against democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

They chided the delegates with calls to “lock her up” to demands that she “be taken out and shot“. And hasn’t stopped.

Al Baldasaro and Donald Trump
Donald Trump, watching Advisor Al Baldasaro speak. Baldasaro has called for Hillary Clinton to be shot, something that earned him an investigation by the Secret Service

Donald Trump has gone on to call her the devil, suggest that folks excursive their “second amendment rights” against her, has now gone on to call President Obama the “founder of ISIS” and Hillary Clinton the co-founder. And that’s all since August 1!

This is nothing short of abhorrent behavior, coming not from the fringe, but the man vying to be leader of the Republican party. Not too long ago, it was rightwingers calling on our leaders to act like “adults” around the time of the Paris shootings, yet the behavior of the party since then has been nothing like responsible adult behavior.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., listens as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew defends President Barack Obama's new budget proposals, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Rep. Ryan, who agrees with Obama on extending the earned income tax credit to more workers without children, says he hopes that lawmakers and the administration could agree on ways to finance expanding the EITC. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Speaker Paul Ryan, one of the most powerful men in the GOP, continues to take a “wait and see” approach with Donald Trumps rhetoric, therefore handing the candidate a blank check to continue on with the blessing of his party.

Some Trump supporters like Darrell Vickers (the bearded man on the right of the screen who visibly reacts to Trumps comments) tried to brush off his “second amendment” comments as a joke, but at some point, GOP leaders need to let it be known that such incendiary comments have no place in political campaigns.

Thankfully, some people are voicing their concerns. Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan (who is now unofficially enshrined as a diety to the party faithful) recently spoke out, attempting to remind people of the lengths that that irrational people can go to justify their actions, saying:

"To Donald Trump: I am the daughter of a man who was shot by someone who got his inspiration from a movie, someone who believed if he killed the President the actress from that movie would notice him. Your glib and horrifying comment about "Second Amendment people" was heard around the world. It was heard by sane and decent people who shudder at your fondness for verbal violence. It was heard by your supporters, many of whom gleefully and angrily yell, "Lock her up!" at your rallies. It was heard by the person sitting alone in a room, locked in his own dark fantasies, who sees unbridled violence as a way to make his mark in the world, and is just looking for ideas. Yes, Mr. Trump, words matter. But then you know that, which makes this all even more horrifying."

After 7 years of the GOP stamping their feet saying that government is evil, government has failed, and pinning the blame for President Bush’s disastrous policies on President Obama, the GOP establishment is still in shock that their base would have the gall to listen to them, and nominate a candidate for president that echoes the exact things they’ve been saying.

Now, when they call ISIS a grave threat to our security, it is coupled with saying that President Obama and Democratic Candidate Clinton are the co-founders of the group. With at least one adviser to the Trump campaign (Al Baldasaro) has explicitly said that Clinton should be “shot”, even if Trumps own comments were simply misconstrued as he claims, the point is no one should be making comments that can be so easily misconstrued, especially when the one saying them claims to be a straight-talker who tells it like it is.

We should all be imploring, no demanding, that the responsible adults of the GOP condemn their candidate in nothing but the strongest possible terms, rather than continue to toe the line with “wait and see” attitude that they continue to take.

Because, as Ronald Reagan’s daughter has pointed out, madmen can be spurred to action from words far less maniacal, and so far it really seems that the GOP is willing to look the other way and claim plausible deniability about anything their candidate says.

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