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Words Matter: Message to Trump

A suspect was arrested today, charged with sending pipe bombs to two former Democratic presidents and numerous other prominent Democratic leaders, supporters and critics of President Trump. His van was plastered with pro-Trump and anti-Democratic images and stickers, including photos with crosshairs superimposed over he images of many would-be bomb recipients.

The suspect, Cesar Altieri Sayoc Jr., 56, was arrested outside a car-repair shop in the Miami area after a nationwideinvestigation produced fingerprint from one of the bomb packages and Sayoc’s DNA from two others.

Sayoc was arrested on a day when four more explosive packages were found, including two intended for United States senators, both Democrats.

This New YorkTimes article points out that "A federal criminal complaint spells out his contempt for this week’s many bomb targets, noting that Mr. Sayoc’s van was slathered with images and slogans often found on fringe right-wing social media accounts."

I only have one point to make tonight, and it is addressed to President Trump:

Your words matter. When you repeatedly denigrate, threaten, taunt and bully your political opponents, as well as the news media, people like Sayoc are listening. They consider it a call to arms. They take you at your word. And they act, thinking you will be pleased with them and consider them heroes.

What you are doing to our country with this hate and division that you are sponsoring is a crime. You are putting good, law abiding citizens in danger. Ordinary eople are afraid to put political lawn signs for your opponents in their front yards. Perhaps that is your objective -- to intimidate, to scare people away from the polls, to make people afraid of you and your supporters.

Perhaps you will make short term gains as your loyal 38 percent listens to your every word (that they want to hear) and shrugs off your every word that might otherwise disturb them. Perhaps.

But in the end you will fail.

We have a great country, one founded on freedom and democracy. One in which civil protest is guaranteed by the Constitution. No matter what you do, you cannot take that away. America does not need you to make it great. That happened a long time ago.

Yes, you may incite people like Cesar Sayoc to attempt violent action against your opponents. Yes, some day people may lose their lives because of that. If that happens, that will be your legacy. You will have to live with that.

You need to be a healer, not a divider, Mr. Trump. Until then, God help us all.

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