Published: Salon (October 14, 2016)
Donald Trump supporters have talked about violence if the Republican candidate loses to Hillary Clinton next month. And now, some of them are starting to put their money where their mouths are.
A pro-Donald Trump protester has attracted attention for standing alone outside a Virginia Democratic campaign office with his gun.
On Thursday, Daniel Parks stood outside a Palmyra campaign office for congressional candidate Jane Dittmar. Witnesses described him as staring directly into the office all day and turning sideways to expose his gun he was legally carrying. He was eventually joined by another protester, who was also armed.
The story is part of a larger trend of implied violence being used by Trump supporters. On Friday, Ed Mazza of The Huffington Post discussed how “members of the press are often the target of jeering by unruly crowds that are egged on by the candidate himself.” On Tuesday, a woman named Rhonda warned Mike Pence that she was “ready for a revolution” if Clinton wins instead of Trump, particularly since she can’t imagine “crooked” Hillary winning without cheating. Similarly, back in September Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (who supports Trump) rhetorically asked “Whose blood will be shed?” if Clinton wins and Trump supporters are forced “ to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away.”
All of these comments echo an observation made by Trump adviser Roger Stone back in August, when he predicted that Clinton would “fix” the election and warned that Trump was going to “put them on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical, and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath.” Indeed, Trump has called for violence so often in his campaign that Mashable was able to compile a list of nine incidents dating back to March. There have also been a number of violent incidents, with the most recent occurring last month when a woman punched an anti-Trump protester while the candidate skewered Clinton for referring to his backers as “deplorables.”
Trump has recently asked poll watchers to watch “certain areas” as he’s convinced his supporters that he’ll only lose if there’s widespread fraud.