Trump Says Republicans Don’t Play It Tough: CNN Thinks It’s a Call to Violence

By Al Perrotta Published on March 18, 2019

Last week, President Trump made a remark that sent CNN and the left into a tizzy. Speaking to Breitbart News, he made the observation:

You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. OK? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations] — that’s all they want to do is – you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this.””

CNN and the left went nuts. Trump’s saying his supporters will get violent! He’ll use the police and military to take dictatorial control! Biker gangs will roam the streets bashing the heads of anyone with a “Coexist” sticker.

CNN Contributor and former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart called it a “thuggish threat to violence” and a continuation of “all out assault on the basis of our democracy.” (Yeah, I know. Someone in the Clinton machine whining about thuggery and threats to democracy is like someone from Seattle complaining about another city’s rain.)

How off the rails did CNN go? Chris Cuomo had on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on to defend the president. You know, give the other side? And Cuomo’s colleague Don Lemon was apoplectic. He chastised Cuomo on air for giving Conway the opportunity to respond. It was “beneath the dignity” of the network to let Conway share her boss’s point-of-view. (Seriously? A network that pays Jim Acosta talking about dignity? That’s like Lori Loughlin talking about scholastic integrity.)

So were Trump’s words a threat to peace and democracy?

First, Context

First, some context. President Trump’s comments came in response to a question about his planned executive order on protecting free speech on campus. A proposal made in the wake of supporter Hayden Williams getting brutally punched in the face at UC Berkeley. (Notice, he did not respond in kind.)

A refresher:

Second, Trump’s comments came after a long riff on how Paul Ryan and other Republicans rejected efforts to fight back against the Democrats who were fighting so hard to destroy his administration.

His entire point: Republicans and his supporters play nice. But at some point they’re going to defend themselves, play by the same no-holds-barred rules as the Democrats. His supporters tend to be military types, police types, along with the hard-working, hard-charging types who get the job done in America. People like the housewives who helped build the TEA Party movement to the men and women who build our roads, our churches, our families. In other words, the type of Americans who don’t go looking for a fight, but will end it if pushed too far.

Pretty simple. Pretty obvious, right? Apparently not. A liberal friend whose TDS is of the milder form called Trump’s comments a threat to “peace” and “democracy.” Usually, I’d let something like that go because A) friends are more important than politics B) this friend is far better at voicing liberal positions than most that are paid to do so, so I do want to take him seriously and C) responding sounds too much like work. But this time I did respond.

What Peace?

My issue with CNN and my friend starts with this notion of “peace.” What peace? You see any peace since Election Day?

Look around in the last few weeks, just at what The Stream has covered and what’s been experienced by The Stream family.

We had the brutalization of Williams. We had a senior citizen assaulted. We had a Trump supporter hit with hysteria at a vape store. A Bay Area restaurant ban. We had the Covington students slammed and slurred from coast to coast when they were the victims of racist insults and confronted for wearing MAGA hats. Remember the guy who called for a school shooting at Covington Catholic?

We had Jussie Smollett with his hate crime hoax slurring Trump supporters as violent and homophobic. Heck, to even doubt his story was racist. And the media and political went along — even as it was clear to anyone with even half a brain that Smollett’s account was utterly ridiculous. “This is America, 2019,” intoned CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. Breitbart provided a list of similar responses. Daily Caller provided a list of similar hoaxes.

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Closer to home:

Dr. Michael Brown had his 1200 videos demonetized.

Stream contributor Faith McDonnell was permanently banned from Facebook. Why? For using as her image the Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS on the anniversary of their martyrdom. (It took someone who knew someone high up to get the decision reversed.)

Rachel Alexander revealed how leaked documents show just how Facebook “deboosts” conservative sites to silence conservative thought. She’s done numerous stories on social media silencing. Call it what is: unconventional warfare. 

Rachel also knows exactly what Trump is talking about when it comes to Democrats playing by different rules. What House Democrats are doing now to White House staffers is what Democratic politicians did to her in Arizona. Set her up, went after her law license, left her hundreds of thousands in debt … why? They didn’t like her boss, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A guy she’d only worked for for a couple months.

I mentioned these and other things spelling out the lack of peace — and what was the response? My friend didn’t say anything, but two strangers implied I was a Nazi. One person flat out declared I had a mental illness.

Kinda proves the point, doesn’t it?

Responding in Kind?

The response is a perfect example of what Trump is talking about. These folks do not “play nice.” So do I respond in kind?

I’ve just been insulted by people who know nothing about me. Who don’t know I’ve been writing about politicians/politics/American culture from and about both sides of the aisle. I did it as the family liberal, and I do it now. Did it in the DC bubble, the L.A. bubble and now the heartland. Been at it for decades. I stink at many, many things, but this is actually something I’m adept at.

Heck, I’ve experienced political witchhunts from the inside, from both sides. See the current effort by the left to destroy Tucker Carlson? I was at VOA when Tucker’s dad got shoved out of the top spot because some people with the ear of the Reagan White House thought he was “soft on communism.” Was there when those same people tried to destroy the life and career of a female VOA reporter who wrote about the agency’s growing partisanship. Ask me sometime about a colleague who ticked off the wrong right-wingers in the Reagan years, and how I got threatened with a formal fraud investigation when I defended him.

I know what right-wing strong-arming looks like, and what Trump is doing just ain’t it.

These strangers also don’t know I spent much of my career as a topical humor writer. Busted on people for a living. In other words, though I am not exactly proud of it, the fact is I can not only respond in kind to the insults, I can play their game in my sleep. And far better — or worse — than most. It is tempting, but it is not right.

But what happens the day I say “Heck with it?” What if I decide as late night comics have done that it’s better to draw blood than draw laughs? That dehumanizing is worth more than admitting a political foe’s humanity. As easy as it is to do, as tempting as it is to do, I do not want to live there. But if forced into the fight … I’d make Eastwood in Unforgiven look like Nanny McPhee.

An “Enough” Scenario

But forget me. And the image of Eastwood in a drab petticoat and warts.

Let’s think about some honest, hard-working man in West L.A. who happens to believe in limited government. Or feels bad for the legal immigrant day laborers getting robbed of work by the illegal day laborers in the Home Depot parking lot. Or is pro-life and voted Trump because, well that’s the best option available right now for protecting life.

He hears it 24/7 in media and while out and about town. “Deplorable. Hater. Nazi. Xenophobe.” The co-worker doesn’t know she’s talking about him because he keeps his views to himself. And she just assumes … . The words hurt. They weigh him down.

He’s had a GOP sticker for a few years, and a MAGA hat he got when he donated some money. But the sticker’s in a drawer and he doesn’t wear the hat because, well, he doesn’t feel like bothering dealing with some botoxed freak who will scream at him at Whole Foods or some college snowflake keying his car. (Both of which are certainties.)

Almost as certain, some hot head would try to knock the hat off.

What happens the day he says, “Enough”? Wears the hat. And decides he’s not gonna let it be knocked off. I should mention this man served two tours in Iraq. That’s who Trump is talking about.

Another scenario: Think of Trump voters — and for that matter those who don’t particularly care about Trump but hate the search-and-destroy fanaticism that is today’s left. What if they decide to use their economic power? What if, en masse, they pressure companies advertising on CNN to drop sponsorship? What if they decide to start trying to end the careers of any NeverTrumper? What if they, when hiring, search a candidate’s social media and if they see the #resistence hashtag toss the resume in the trash?

The basic premise of what Trump said is, “Maybe Republicans should play by the same rules as the Democrats. And that’s bad news for Democrats because Republicans (or at least his supporters) are tougher.”

Standing Up

Of course, conservatives need to aim for a higher standard. But that doesn’t mean we should continue to be beaten down. We don’t need to be the battered frat pledge saying, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?!” We also don’t need to ruin any lives. People consumed with bitterness will ruin themselves.

Sometimes it’s simply enough to just say “Enough” and stand up.

We know what this looks like. Go back to 2007. Rosie O’Donnell had spent a year on The View insulting conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck day in, day out over her politics. Finally one day, Hasselbeck had enough. Stood up. O’Donnell quit that afternoon.

One Final Thought

Trump talked about having the support of the police and military. Somehow this is threatening? Who are these men and women? Our nation’s peace officers and peacemakers. The ones who stand between lawful citizens and those who mean our nation and population harm.

Having them support the duly elected President of the United States is only dangerous to those who do mean us harm.

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