On Sunday, President Donald Trump praised supporters of his who harassed a campaign bus for his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, and social media is still in awe. The president tweeted a now-viral video showing trucks flying Trump 2020 flags as they surround a Biden bus and nearly run it off the road. His only comment was "I LOVE TEXAS!"
Videos from the scene show the caravan of Trump supporters surrounding the Biden bus on I-35, then forcing it to slow to a crawl. According to a report by The New York Times, the trucks also tried to "force" the bus "off the road," and they did ram into the cars of Biden staffers driving nearby. Witness Eric Cervini noted that "many" of the Trump supporters "were armed," and they continued to follow the Biden bus throughout its campaign stops on Saturday. Critics are calling this an "intimidation" tactic, and pundits from all along the political spectrum are horrified to see the president endorsing it publicly.
I LOVE TEXAS! pic.twitter.com/EP7P3AvE8L— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2020
"What the President tweeted in regards to Texas is reckless, dangerous and an intimidation tactic," tweeted Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders. "It's not something we should come to accept from our leaders. The people of our great country have the opportunity to turn the corner here. VOTE. HIM. OUT."
The Biden bus was forced to cancel some of its engagements in Texas throughout the day, although the campaign has not confirmed that this group of intimidating followers was the reason. Still, it has many Americans more concerned than ever about the response to the election results — whatever they may be. Here is a look at how Twitter responded to Trump's alleged endorsement of violence on the campaign trail.
Impeach the mother fucker again. Arrest him. Where are the balls out there? https://t.co/yXZ375ez8h— Paula Cornell (@PaulaCornell8) November 1, 2020
Many Americans were dismayed by the idea that there would be no consequences for this confrontation, either for the president or the perpetrators. They wondered why some authority of checks and balances could not step in to impeach him again or bring some other punishment down.prevnext
Excuse me, you monster. Shouldn’t you be denouncing violence? You are unfit, you are a disgrace, you are an insult to the office of the President & you will be forever ridiculed as the worst person to ever hold public office. We cannot wait to send you packing this week. #justgo https://t.co/MZFVotpvBU— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) November 1, 2020
Some responded directly to the president following this post, vowing to oust him from the White House on election day this week. Filmmaker Paul Feig condemned him as "the worst person to ever hold public office."prevnext
yeah it’s bout to be a c*v*l w*r https://t.co/5ai00Q8CuG— giabuchi lastrassi (@jaboukie) November 1, 2020
Many were less hopeful, guessing that there could be no peaceful end to the national tensions, even if one candidate or the other won clearly and fairly. The term "civil war" was mulled over to varying degrees.prevnext
Suspend His Account
I don’t understand how Twitter has not suspended this account. He’s flat out advocating electoral violence. https://t.co/q1reHM2Yrx— Brianna Wu (@BriannaWu) November 1, 2020
While some called for legal repercussions, others demanded that social media platforms like Twitter at least crack down on the president for posting things that encourage political violence. So far, Twitter has not flagged the president's post in any way.prevnext
I wonder how many sane and normal people see this stuff and say "you know what. This isn't right. I don't want 4 more years of this." I mean, condoning this kind of stuff really doesn't help you. Here's the car these MAGA's drove off the road. pic.twitter.com/NSzpUmGQpT— Vee (@Vee93244846) November 1, 2020
Some wondered whether the president might be alienating less extreme voters who otherwise would have supported him with tweets like this. They speculated that some right-leaning voters would be put off by calls for violence and either abstain, or vote against him.prevnext
These actions are nothing short of early 1930 Hitler's "Brown Shirts" tactics of election intimidation. This is literally how all fascism regime's start. It is a HISTORICAL FACT.— Brent O (@OnlineDetective) November 1, 2020
Many critics found this to be a fresh comparison between Trump and fascist leaders of the early 20th century. They accused Trump of dog-whistling to his supporters that their violence would be accepted and go unpunished.prevnext
JOBS NOT MOBS UNLESS THE MOBS ARE MY SUPPORTERS RUNNING THE OPPOSING CAMPAIGN BUS OFF THE ROAD!— Paul 👻 (@pablo_honey1) November 1, 2020
these people are breaking the law and endangering lives, you deteriorating ghoul. what is wrong with you— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) November 1, 2020
Many critics pointed out the hypocrisy in Trump's tweet, since he portrays himself as a leader focused on "law and order." The drivers of the trucks were breaking the law, yet Trump did not come down on them as he did with Black Lives Matter protesters throughout the last few months.prev