Second Amendment Remedies

Sharron AngleA Republican candidate subtly suggesting to his or her supporters that there was some sort of Second Amendment solution for dealing with his or her political opponents is not something Donald Trump invented. Those calling Trump's recent statements a "new low" in politics must have awfully short memories. I expect that many politically involved readers will recall the disturbing case of Sharron Angle, Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada.

While running against Sen. Harry Reid in 2010, Angle suggested "Second Amendment remedies" multiple times. This led many of us to wonder whether Republicans like Angle (and now Trump) were really advocating armed insurrection simply because they were not getting their way politically? In the case of Angle, News Hounds found some disturbing comments at Fox Nation that may provide some clues.

With as much negative attention as Trump is receiving (deservedly so), it is fun to think back to Angle, recall some facts about her, and celebrate the fact that her political career appears to be over. For example:
  • Angle's energy plan involved deregulating the oil industry, the same industry that was bringing us the worst environment disaster in U.S. history at the time.
  • Angle had ties to the far-right Constitution Party, promoters of Christian Reconstructionism (i.e., they want to impose biblical law on the U.S.). In fact, Christian Reconstructionist groups  helped to fund her campaign.
  • Just like George W. Bush, Angle wanted to privatize Social Security; however, she went well beyond where Bush stopped, also seeking to privatize the VA.
  • Angle publicly stated that she thinks alcohol should be illegal, and her website listed banning pornography as one of her goals. At least, it used to.
  • Angle opposed a woman's right to abort a pregnancy even in cases of rape or incest, believing that pregnancy even in such awful circumstances is part of God's plan.
  • Angle appeared to be an anti-gay bigot.
  • Angle only became a Republican when she realized that she was unelectable running as an Independent American Party candidate.
  • Angle said that unemployed Americans are "spoiled" and that job creation would not be one of her responsibilities as a U.S. Senator.
Despite increasingly desperate attempts to rewrite her own history to appeal to a larger audience, this was Sharron Angle in 2010. She appeared to be a dangerous Christian extremist, and it was great that voters decided she would be bad for Nevada and for the U.S. as a whole. This Christian Reconstructionism stuff, as I understand it, is about as extreme as Christians get. Even many on the Christian right consider it too far out!

Has Trump finally gone too far? Will the Secret Service have to intervene? Will we see more calls for the Republican Party to repudiate him or even withdraw their support for his campaign? Will this be the beginning of the end of his political career? One can certainly hope so, but something tells me that Trump might stick around in a way that Angle did not.

Portions of this post were originally posted in 2010.