Republicans Say We Should Just Laugh Off Donald Trump’s Assassination “Joke.” No.

“The in-group for that joke should be tiny. Like his hands.”

Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/ZUMA

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On Tuesday, Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy when he told his supporters at a rally in North Carolina that “Second Amendment people” could block Hillary Clinton and her Supreme Court appointees if she was elected president.

Democrats and gun control advocates were quick to denounce the remarks as an assassination threat. Some Republicans (and even some media outlets) used the rationale that Trump’s comment was okay because it was just a joke.

House Speaker Paul Ryan described it as a “joke gone bad”; headlines ran similar explanations.

In other words: get over it.

But this particular incident might be different from all the other times Republicans have been forced to defend Trump. As Jason P. Steed, an attorney and former English professor from Texas, explained on social media, there’s always a bit of truth to a dangerous punch line, especially when it’s joking about taking up arms against a political rival.

Let Steed’s popular tweetstorm explain:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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