A veteran explains why actually Hillary shouldn’t be executed by firing squad for treason
I cannot believe this is a genuine political conversation
Yesterday the veterans advisor to Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton should be killed by firing squad, and not for the first time.
Al Baldasaro, who works as a military consultant for the Trump campaign, has spent most of the summer explaining why and how he thinks Hillary should die.
The latest statement came yesterday, as Baldasaro reiterated to Mass Live: “She should be shot in a firing squad for treason.”
So we asked Alex McCoy, former Marine and co-founder of the Vets Vs Hate pressure group, why calling for the death of the Democratic nominee is a horrible idea.
What do you think of Al Baldasaro’s statement basically calling for the murder of Hillary Clinton?
It’s the same kind of rhetoric we heard in the RNC, the “lock her up” chants, this complete detachment from reality, and more recently Donald Trump’s insinuation, “Second Amendment people” should do something about Hillary Clinton. Al Baldasaro is a reflection of Donald Trump and the nasty hateful enviornment this man has created in his political campaigning. Donald Trump has surrounded himself with people who have advocated for violence to achieve their political positions and Al Baldasaro is just one example of that. Baldasaro has vocally attacked LGBT servicemen and women saying they don’t have the right to wear a uniform, he has a long history of hatred, he makes these comments about Hillary, he went after me on Twitter saying I was a disgrace to the Marine Corps. These facts about Baldasaro prove Trump does not take veterans seriously, because this is who he has choosen as his veterans advisor. Baldasaro is a very flawed messenger of what the military is all about, and I think his comments are disgraceful and absolutely unacceptable.
— Rep Al Baldasaro (@Al_Baldasaro) May 25, 2016
How can Trump claim he does not agree with Baldasaro’s statements when he is seen standing by him as he speaks and he makes similar comments saying ‘Second Amendment people’ should deal with Hillary?
Trump is definitely trying to have it both ways, and you’ve seen this in other areas too. Where he claims he’s never heard of White Supremacist KKK leader David Duke, but he doesn’t actually rebuke any of David Duke’s statements. Baldasaro is clearly a member of the Trump campaign and the campaign has never distanced themselves from it. So, in light of the horrible comments Baldasaro has made and his continued unacceptable behavior it goes to show Trump does not see it as an aberration he sees it as a part of his design. These are the people he seeks out, these are the people he is courting with his rhetoric of bigotry and hate.
Do you believe Baldasaro represents the ideologies of a significant portion of veterans?
Al Baldasaro is definitely not representative of the military, and if you look at the polling even in conservative cities, most recently in Virginia, Donald Trump was losing the military vote, which is really remarkable considering the military vote normally leans conservative. So, no I do not think Baldasaro represents the military, and I reject that pretty treasonous insinuation. The military community has come forward after Baldasaro’s comments to condemn them, across the political spectrum.
Do you believe Baldasaro is dangerous?
I don’t see him as personally dangerous however you cannot understate how dangerous these kind of statements are. When we see the Trump campaign stir up hatred against Muslims, it inspires hate crimes. Most recently, in Queens two Muslims were attacked, shot, and killed by someone as they were leaving their mosque. This climate of normalized violence and extremism is dangerous, people listening don’t hear the “of course we don’t actually mean this”, what they hear is Trump trying to exploit their worst fears, because it inspires violence. This stuff does not come in isolation. It’s normalized, encouraged, validated by the Trump campaign’s rhetoric, and I include in that the incendiary statements about Hillary Clinton.
Do you believe these statements could actually put Hillary’s life in danger?
I want to defer to the Secret Service who are the experts, and are very good at their job. I trust them to take this very seriously, and I am glad they have conducted an investigation into Al Baldasaro’s comments, and I trust them to take the appropriate steps.
Why is Trump so dangerous for veterans specifically?
Firstly, his incoherent foreign policy ideas would put service members at risk. It would unequivocally make a more dangerous world for our military. We’ve seen Trump, and we must take him at his word at this, claim he would break our treat obligations with our NATO alliance. The NATO alliance is what has prevented war in Europe since World War II. It has kept the peace among great powers in the world for decades, and for Trump to break that would fundamentally change the balance of the world for the worst. His foreign policy is dangerous and reckless. He would call upon the military to commit war crimes which is going to create serious crisis within the military.
The fact Donald Trump says he is great for veterans after not taking them seriously, and after a long record of disrespect towards the veteran community: attacking the gold star community, saying he wanted the Purple Heart the easy way, his multiple draft deferments for Vietnam, the fact he attempted to kick veteran venders off of his avenue because he considered them to be unfit to occupy the same street as his Trump Tower, his lies and deception about his donations to veterans’ charities. I think these facts speak volumes. I think he does not actually care one bit about the issues facing veterans or what will keep us safe when we are serving over sees or what will keep American’s safe here at home. His policies would validate the propaganda of our enemies and I find that very scary.
What can veterans do, and what are you doing with Vets Vs Hate to push back against this horrifying rhetoric?
Veterans have a special place and a special responsibility in our election today. I think veterans are perceived by non-veterans as the guardians of American values, we sort of protect and uphold the constitution of the United States, and for a time at least volunteered to set our lives aside and serve in uniform to protect something greater than ourselves. We are trying to spread the word and amplify the voices of veterans across the country, in every state, are speaking out against this. I think we have a responsibility to speak out.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.