CNN's David Gergen Compares Trump's Rhetoric To “The Kind Of Dehumanization We See” Before People Attack Abortion Clinics

Gergen: “We Know How There Are Crazies Out There With Guns, And If You Just Give Them The Excuse Or The Incitement, Terrible Things Can Happen”

From the August 10 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:

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JAKE TAPPER (HOST): David, how did you take the remarks when you heard them? 

DAVID GERGEN:  I was, I was -- I must have really taken aback. I -- what you reported at the top of the show, Jake, I think is so important, and that is that the Secret Service has now warned the Trump campaign on more than one occasion since this, these comments about the dangers represented by the rhetoric. That settles the question, it seems to me, that the Secret Service has stepped in, settles the question of whether we should take this seriously or not. That it was open to the interpretation like a dog whistle to crazies out there that maybe you ought to pick up a gun and settle this once and for all. And it comes into context so important to this.

I think that people in the press would be much more willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt had there not been this long string of comments in this campaign pervaded with aspects of violence. He wants to punch people in the nose, he talks about going out and being shot on Fifth Avenue, that won't matter -- if he shoots somebody on Fifth Avenue, that he'd like to take somebody out. Calling her a criminal, the “Crooked Hillary” , and having all these chants, as late as the rally yesterday about “lock her up, lock her up.” Tom Friedman I thought made an excellent point today in The New York Times, that's what we saw, the kind of context we saw before the assassination of [Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin. Others have made the point, this is the kind of dehumanization that we've seen before people pick up guns and go shoot people at abortion clinics. That can happen in politics, too. We've all lived through this before, and we know how there are crazies out there with guns, and if you just give them the excuse or the incitement terrible things can happen. So I think it's appropriate that Donald Trump has been condemned on this, and I also think his campaign is now in crisis.


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