A professor at Georgia Southern University has declared that “people have already died” because of Donald Trump — adding that the media must pressure him to resign or else “dangerous individuals” will “kill and maim.”
A linguistics and writing professor, Jared Yates Sexton, made the comments on Twitter on Saturday, and screenshots of them were obtained by Campus Reform.
According to Sexton, the media “must push against that impulse to juice impeachment for profit,” and start pressuring Trump to resign instead — or else a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs will be the end of us all.
“Trump is going to try everything, Fox is going to try everything, and they’re going to both further the injuring of societal reality and inspire dangerous individuals to kill and maim,” he stated.
“There’s a vast number of people in this, people who have been taught their whole lives that they might need to kill in case of a coup or corrupt takeover,” Sexton continued. “Trump and Republicans signal to them constantly. They’re more than ready to see this as the occasion.”
Sexton then reiterated the need for the media to “assert pressure” on Trump “to resign so we can avoid this story going to a place that risks lives.”
“People have already died,” he stated. “More will if this crisis isn’t dismantled carefully.”
Now, Campus Reform later interviewed Sexton, and his comments there perhaps (and only perhaps) seem like a bit (but only a bit) of a walkback from his original tweets — although he certainly did double down on his view that Trump is “dangerous.” In the interview, though, Sexton clarified that he doesn’t believe that people will “die simply because Trump remains in office,” but that he does “believe there is a danger in President Trump and Republicans continually mentioning coups and civil wars as history, both recent and past, shows that individuals do kill when rhetoric like this permeates media.”
“For instance, Dylann Roof’s killings were predicated by radicalizing propaganda that told him he must take his country back,” he told the news source.
(President Obama, not Trump, was in office at the time of Roof’s murders.)
“My concern is that the President has obviously committed impeachable offenses and that the fight over impeachment, considering there [are] already calls for a civil war, will be dangerous for Americans,” Sexton continued.
Okay. First of all, let me just say that I am certainly not someone who thinks that Donald Trump is perfect. For example, as a pro-immigration libertarian, I couldn’t agree less with his views on that issue — such as his desire to spend taxpayer money building a wall (no matter how “beautiful” he assures me it would be). What’s more, I believe that he’s said things that warrant criticism, and have not been hesitant to offer my own. In fact, like Sexton, I was also bothered by his tweet predicting that there would be a “Civil War” should he be impeached.
Here’s the difference, though: Despite having my own issues and concerns regarding the president, I have always managed to remain at least hinged in my criticism of him. For example: I have never even insinuated that he was a murderer, as Sexton did in his tweets. Now, of course, it’s been easy for me to refrain from doing so — because I myself happen to find such statements to be patently ridiculous and rooted in hysteria and prejudgments rather than in fact. For example (as I discussed in my column yesterday) last spring, CNN, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, and Vox all ran stories on a single study reporting a 226 percent increase in hate-related incidents in connection to Trump’s rallies. Without looking into context or alternative explanations for the numbers, Democratic politicians from Representative Ilhan Omar to Senator Bernie Sanders weighed in to use the study as unequivocal evidence that Trump’s rhetoric was absolutely causing hatred and violence. When reporters for Reason looked into the numbers, however, they found that Hillary Clinton actually had an even higher increase in hate incidents related to her rallies — ultimately concluding that the increase that had been categorically blamed on rhetoric was actually more than likely due to the fact that politicians often choose to hold rallies in larger cities, where “the raw number of crimes is generally mechanically higher.”
All things considered, people like Sexton may want to contemplate being more measured in their own rhetoric when discussing Trump’s presidency — not for me, not for Trump or his supporters, but for themselves. Aside from the fact that a Trump resignation is quite obviously never going to happen under any circumstances (seriously, I’d bet my cat against it) speaking in clear, hysterical hyperbole is never the way to win anyone over to anything. Although it may energize the hard Left, talk of Trump being a murderer or “literally Hitler” or the like sounds like overblown nonsense to everyone else. The problem, of course, with people hearing you spew what they consider to be nonsense is that they’re going to be far more likely to write you off even when you may have a legitimate point. What’s more, that sort of talk makes Trump supporters further view the president as a victim, constantly being scourged with the lashes of outrageous allegations. You may be trying to push people away from Trump, but all you end up doing is pushing his supporters further toward him.