Friday, March 18, 2016

Op-ed: 'True Threats' of Violence...More Than Just Media Fodder

'True Threats' of Violence...More Than Just Media Fodder 

By: Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor / Right Side Patriots on

“I think if we go into a convention, whoever gets 1,237 delegates becomes the nominee. It’s plain and simple.” 
- RNC Chief Strategist Sean Spicer

Well folks Donald Trump is spewing words of instigation yet again…this time going way beyond just the absurd about his supporters not caring if he shot somebody while walking down Fifth Avenue; even going beyond his not outwardly condemning the recent violence in Chicago that led to his claiming that his First Amendment right to free speech had been violated...which by the way it was not.

Now Trump is actually putting the Republican delegates and the Republican hierarchy on notice with threats that if after the primaries he does not reach the magic number of 1,237 needed to secure the nomination...and know there is nothing nefarious about that number as it's simply half the delegates plus other words the majority...that should he nevertheless finish with the most delegates no matter the number, and if the nomination were to go to someone else that violence could in his words, “I think you’d have riots.”

Speaking by phone this past Wednesday on CNN's 'New Day' with Chris Cuomo, Donald Trump stated that he's “representing many millions of people”...completely ignoring the fact that the other two candidates still in the race, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, can say the exact same thing. Then by adding that, “If you disenfranchise those people, and you say, ‘I’m sorry, you’re 20 votes short or 100 votes short and we’re at 1,100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400…I think you’d have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen...I think you would see problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen. I really do. I wouldn’t lead it, but I think bad things would happen,” Trump has actually tried to blackmail the in 'give me the nomination contested or otherwise or else'...thus making Donald Trump no better than the thugs and hoodlums that he so loves to call out. And know that this latest stunt of his will be turned into yet another soundbite...just like Chicago was...that the media will report on ad-nauseum, thus denying both Cruz and Kasich their rightful air time.

Click on link to hear Donald Trump threatening riots in his own voice:

And it's the media...the very ones whose 'bought-and- paid-for' ratings whore existence revolves around 'The Donald Trump Presidential Reality Show'...who wait with baited breath to see if Trump's words are legally an actual threat or just wishful thinking on his part...wishful thinking by the man who, like Barack HUSSEIN Obama, thinks himself king...and if he's not perceived as king he'll buy, if you will, your undying loyalty...just ask Dr. Ben Carson.

And while being quick to tell Cuomo that he himself won’t lead any riots...I personally believe he'll just orchestrate them from behind...Donald Trump made sure in the interview to stop legally just short of directly threatening violence. But know that nowhere in his words did Trump denounce or discourage violence...which would have been the honorable thing to do...thus proving himself to be what many of us have thought since day one...that Donald Trump is nothing but a thug in a multi-billionaire disguise. And now add in the many talking heads...especially FOX's Sean Hannity who has been in the tank for Trump since the moment he announced his run...who love to feed into and help perpetrate the Trump mantra about riots breaking out at the convention if he were denied the nomination. After all, violence of any kind is a ratings bonanza and the masses so relish in watching Donald Trump vs. the GOP establishment show, that it's now become yet another blood sport.

And what has the reaction of the Republican party hierarchy been to Trump's rhetoric of possible riots if he's denied the nomination even if he doesn't reach the must have 1,237 number...“Well first of all, I assume [Trump] is speaking figuratively,” said RNC Chief Strategist Sean Spicer, who went on to say that the convention is just part of the process, and that the Trump campaign will not receive any special treatment, and that he will not be voted up or down based upon anything other than the will of the delegates and whatever wheeling and dealing that happens on the convention floor, both for or against Trump.

In other words, the convention would still go contested but not brokered, with the all important difference being that in a brokered convention a party committee picks the nominee while in a contested convention the delegates themselves make that decision having been released from their pledge after the first balloting. And really there is nothing wrong with that especially since some members of the RNC are working towards being more transparent on the convention floor by trying to replace the currently used 1,500-page Parliamentary Handbook of the U.S. House with Robert's Rules of Order. And while Robert's simpler procedures and rules still would not guarantee Donald Trump the nomination it will at least thwart any underhanded dealings to deny him the nomination if he reaches the all-important 1,237 number.

But even with the RNC at least trying to work things out fairly for all parties concerned, if truth be told Trump's threatening, instigating, or even just alluding to riots or violence is, in my opinion, reason enough to deny him the nomination as threats of violence against individuals, according to the Supreme Court (Watts v. United States), fall outside First Amendment protection and are arrestable offenses. Citing three main reasons why 'true threats' of violence are not protected rights, the High Court has stated that, “protecting individuals from the fear of violence, from the disruption that fear engenders, and from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur,” takes precedence over the right of someone to spew words instigating violence.

In fact, the Ninth Circuit has stated that a 'true threat' is “a statement which, in the entire context and under all the circumstances, a reasonable person would foresee would be interpreted by those to whom the statement is communicated as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon that person,” adding that “It is not necessary that the defendant intend to, or be able to carry out his threat; the only intent requirement for a 'true threat' is that the defendant intentionally or knowingly communicate the threat.” And Donald Trump has said time and again that anything he says is true...meaning even his alluding to or wishing for possible violence can and should be taken as a 'true threat.'

And while Justice Learned Hand, a champion of free speech, stated in his 1917 opinion 'Masses v. United States' that even dangerous 'dissident speech' was somewhat protected under the First Amendment, he conceded that government could regulate and call to task any speaker who would "counsel or advise a man" to commit an unlawful act...which is exactly what Donald Trump did with his threats about bad things happening if he is denied the nomination.

And even if Trump's 'true threat' words were to be dismissed...which I believe they should not be what with the pattern of violence at his rallies and events increasing while he feeds into it with vile rhetoric (see my Right Side Patriots partner and friend Craig Andresen's and my joint article about just that here: must also be noted that Trump's words about possible riots are nothing but a ploy...a scare disenfranchise voters into not voting at all if the delegates or the party award the nomination to anybody but him. In fact, Donald Trump has even stated that if he does not get the nomination that he will bring charges that a contested convention is illegitimate, and that he will advise his many supporters not to back the nominee so as to do as much damage to the Republican party as he possibly can.

And folks, if that is not yet another threat then seriously I don't know what is.

So now while Donald Trump's 'true threats' seem to be taken as nothing but made-for-TV media ratings fodder, we are left with a game of mathematics...will Trump reach the 1,237 number needed for the nomination before it goes to convention or will Ted Cruz or John Kasich be able to stop him. And let's be honest here...John Kasich with his lowly 68 delegates has no chance of stopping Trump before the convention, while Ted Cruz has an outside chance of pulling it off...that is if he can pull 78% of all the remaining delegates from the states who have not yet voted into his corner. It's a long shot but it can be done if he can secure former candidate Marco Rubio's 170 delegates once they are released...or better yet if a deal is worked out and announced before the convention for a Cruz/Rubio ticket.

Now that is something I could go for and a ticket like that would steamroller over Hillary in a heartbeat. And it would also knock the wind out of both Donald Trump's campaign and any words he could say because together Cruz and Rubio have more delegates and support than Trump...and no threats made and no hopes of violence can counter truly is that simple.

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