Politics

Ronald Reagan's Daughter Reminds Trump Why His Words Are So Dangerous

The daughter of an iconic Republican family wrote a viral Facebook post about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments about "Second Amendment people."

At a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina on Tuesday, Trump said that gun owners may be able to stop Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton from picking a Democratic U.S. Supreme Court Justice to replace deceased Justice Antonin Scalia's seat.

"Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment," he said. "If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."

Patti Davis the daughter of Republican President Ronald Reagan, who is held up as an icon of the modern-day Republican party, wrote a passionate Facebook post condemning Trump's suggestion that violence could stop Clinton from making political decisions. President Reagan also survived an assassination attempt in 1981.

Davis wrote that Trump's words were heard by reasonable and sane people, but also by a "person sitting alone in a room, locked in his own dark fantasies, who sees unbridled violence as a a way to make his mark in the world, and is just looking for ideas."

Although speech does not directly cause violence, allusions or suggestions for violence that target a specific person or group can inspire mentally ill or emotionally unstable people.

A 2014 study from the University of Michigan revealed that specific violent metaphors can influence people who are already angry.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, writer Thomas Friedman wrote about Trump's incendiary comments and the power of language; he and hearkened back to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was killed by an extremist over Rabin's desire to make peace with the Palestinians. He writes:

"But Trump knows what he is doing, and it is so dangerous in today’s world. In the last year we have seen a spate of lone-wolf acts of terrorism in America and Europe by men and women living on the fringes of society, some with petty criminal records, often with psychological problems, often described as 'loners,' and almost always deeply immersed in fringe jihadist social networks that heat them up. They hear the signal in the noise. They hear the inspiration and the permission to do God’s work. They are not cooled by unfinished sentences."

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