The political left often accuses President Donald Trump of using inciteful rhetoric that promotes violence against others, but the truth is that members of the left are the ones who often stoop to using purposefully divisive language that has resulted in actual violence.
Illustrative of this reality is the fact that at least two attendees at a fundraiser for an Illinois state senator engaged in a mock assassination of the president, photos of which were posted to social media depicting a man pointing a fake rifle and pretending to shoot someone wearing a Trump mask.
WCIA reported that the incident occurred at a $250-minimum donation fundraiser event on Friday for Democrat Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval held at the Klein Creek Golf Club in suburban Winfield, just west of Chicago.
Pictures show that some attendees wore costumes to the event, mostly of Marvel superhero characters, though there was one man who wore traditional Mexican garb and a Trump mask, ultimately pretending to be shot and killed by a man holding an obviously fake toy gun.
A political fundraiser for @SenatorSandoval simulates an assassination attempt against a mock @realDonaldTrump decked out in Mexican garb. Looks like a man pointed a fake assault weapon at the fake President to pose for a picture. pic.twitter.com/MlT9zjB1mn
— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) August 17, 2019
Apology “too little, too late”
The backlash was swift, and thankfully, at least somewhat bipartisan in nature, as Republicans and even some Democrats released statements condemning what transpired at Sandoval’s fundraiser, eventually prompting an apology from Sandoval himself for the play-acted assassination.
“The incident that took place is unacceptable,” Sandoval said in an emailed statement. “I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”
That apology was deemed insufficient by the head of the Illinois Republican Party, however, who demanded that Sandoval pursue disciplinary actions if it turned out that the men who performed the mock assassination were his staffers or campaign volunteers.
“The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late,” said Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois GOP.
“Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration,” he continued.
“It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way. If the individual pictured is a staffer or volunteer, they should be terminated immediately,” Schneider added.
As for pushback from Democrats, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the incident was “insensitive and wrong” at a time when gun violence is a top issue, while a spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party admitted that “hate-filled political rhetoric can fuel violence” and said what had happened was “unacceptable and dangerous.”
Every Democrat should be compelled to fully condemn and distance themselves from this incident — as Republicans would be forced to do if roles were reversed — and they should pray that no actual evil or violence comes from this disgraceful spectacle.