Politics

Trump Adviser Al Baldasaro Sends a Message About Where America Is Headed

July 20th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-NH) — a veterans issue adviser to Donald Trump — said that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.” He made the comments Tuesday in a radio appearance on the Jeff Kuhner Show, Buzzfeed News reports.

Firing Squad

Baldasaro called Clinton a “piece of garbage" and compared her to actress Jane Fonda, an outspoken critic of the Vietnam war whose visit to Hanoi led many supporters of the war to view her as a traitor.

“I’m a veteran that went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm," Baldasaro asserted. "I’m also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton to me is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam."

"She is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi," he continued. "She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security."

“This whole thing disgusts me," Baldasaro said. "Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason."

His call for Clinton's execution was answered with a Secret Service investigation, according to a Wednesday report on The Daily Beast.

Baldasaro's remarks illustrate how political rhetoric has escalated during the Republican National Convention.

This shift is also evidenced in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Tuesday evening speech: a fierce attack on Clinton answered with calls to "Lock her up!" chanted from the crowd.

This language has taken center stage at the RNC, and disturbingly mirrors how fascist regimes demonize, criminalize, and jail dissidents and political enemies.

"Politicians and presidents make serious ethical mistakes," a reader wrote in a comment published on Daily Intelligencer's Tuesday RNC liveblog. "Reagan/Bush 41 on Iran-Contra, Bush 43 on WMD intelligence/torture, Bill Clinton on perjury. But this? 'Lock her up' might be the slogan of the 2016 GOP convention. It’s anything but conservative, anything but respect for the Constitution, anything but liberty."

The Daily Intelligencer reader also referenced one of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's past gigs, when he helped elect Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych as the president of Ukraine in 2010.

The comment continues:

"When I think about Paul Manafort’s effort to help elect the pro-Putin Viktor Yanukovych in 2010, and they yelled 'lock her up' in Ukraine, that’s exactly what they did. On trumped up political charges (ironically because she accepted, under duress, an unfair natural gas deal), Yanukovych threw former prime minister and his 2010 opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, in prison."

Prosecutors alleged that Tymoshenko participated in natural gas negotiations that "harmed Ukraine’s interests" during her tenure as Prime Minister, according to The New York Times. But many legal experts believe her offenses warranted milder disciplinary action and believe she was charged for political reasons, the report adds.

“This is an authoritarian regime,” Tymoshenko told The Times in 2011, after she was sentenced to seven years in prison. “Against the background of European rhetoric, Yanukovich is taking Ukraine farther from Europe by launching such political trials.”

Many Twitter users — some of whom even admitted to disliking Clinton — also found the calls to jail Trump's election rival unsettling.

The GOP has continued to struggle to unify around its candidate in recent months. Unifying against Clinton, a common enemy, has proved far less difficult. But how anti-Clinton sentiment has taken shape during the RNC — appearing increasingly unhinged — paints a disturbing picture of where our country is headed and what a Trump presidency would mean for his political opponents.