Trump’s trail of ‘blood’ goes back (at least) to Michigan

When I was a little kid, I watched a lot of cowboy westerns on our black-and-white TV. Bad guys were always killing good guys “in cold blood,” or so it was said. This baffled me.

I always wondered: How do they get the cold blood? From humans? From animals? And how do they chill it? Do they pour gallons of cold blood in a refrigerated bathtub or swimming pool and then kill the guy by drowning him?

Thankfully, one of the more sophisticated neighborhood big kids explained to me that “cold blood” was just an expression, meaning “done with unfair and cowardly treachery.”

It was the opposite of honorably killing a low-down, no-good varmint like a manly man would with a pistol duel, face to face, on a dusty street at high noon in a town with wooden sidewalks. (Would that be “in hot blood?”)

My literal misunderstanding of “cold blood” returned to my mind in the last few days during the controversy over Donald Trump’s prediction of a “bloodbath” if President Joe Biden is re-elected this November.

“If I don’t get elected,” Trump said last Saturday in Ohio, “it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole country.”

Trump’s paid staff and media groupies immediately scoffed at Trump’s critics who said the former president chose the word “bloodbath” with sinister meaning to hint at violence even worse than Trump’s Jan. 6 lynch mob insurrection attempt to overthrow the 2020 election of Biden over Trump.

Many shed blood in that Capitol Hill clash. Some died. But such a comparison is nonsense, said Trump’s apologists. In Ohio, he was merely discussing the automobile industry and predicting how it will suffer financially if Chinese companies build cars in Mexico and sell them in the United States.

In defense of Trump (There! I’ve said it!) it must be acknowledged that the large, loud, orange-faced, yellow-haired demagogue threw around similar, reckless, blood metaphors when he spoke last fall in Clinton Township during the United Auto Workers strike.

In a non-union auto parts warehouse, Trump promised “a revival of economic nationalism and our automobile factories, a lifeblood which they are sucking out of the country.” He also said immigration is “killing our country. They’re destroying the blood of our country.”

Referring to the president, Trump said: “Crooked Joe backed every single, blood-sucking globalist attack on U.S. auto workers.”

Reflecting on his immense wealth and how he is sacrificing a life of luxurious leisure to patriotically serve his wonderful but troubled nation, Trump said, “I’ve risked it all to defend the working class from the corrupt political class that has spent decades sucking the life, wealth and blood out of this country.”

If those Trump blood references don’t make your blood boil, consider his views regarding blood and women, specifically those women who might challenge him on television

In a 2016 Republican debate, Megyn Kelly — then with Fox News Channel — called out Trump, saying, “You have called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

Asked later about it by Don Lemon — then with CNN — Trump said of Kelly, “She had blood coming out of her eyes. Or coming out of her whatever.”

Quite an observation from a proud sex predator who once (at least) bragged that, when he sees an unfamiliar woman he finds attractive, he just grabs her by the crotch, his method of saying “Hello.”

After he was elected in 2016, Trump said he turned down a request from Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC to interview him at his Mar-a-Lago palace on New Year’s Eve.

“She was bleeding badly from a facelift,” Trump said in a social media post. “I said, ‘No.’”

Return now to the present, when Trump now runs a blood-curdling campaign of doom and gloom, fear and smear.

Part of his evil genius is to spray vicious words like metaphoric bullets from the metaphoric gun of a metaphoric mass shooter taking aim at various metaphoric moving targets in the hallway of a metaphoric school.

Among real people, Trump picks fights with judges, prosecutors, lawyers, journalists, most Democrats, and some Republicans, too.

How can one even focus? This essay is already more than 700 words long and we haven’t yet mentioned that Trump labels political opponents as “vermin” and he calls migrants “animals.” He cheapens words like “blood,” the vital fluid of both life and death.

In religious symbolism, blood is sacramental. But Trump uses the word symbolically to cut, smear, and scare people. At his rallies, he mixes his blood metaphors with a sense of humor that is limited to the ridicule of others while his fans in the audience behind him fill the TV screen with smirks.

Every now and then, more than before, Trump throws in a few curse words. On TV, you can see how they draw happy gasps from his “evangelical” and “patriot” followers. So cheeky! And they love it when he calls the convicted Jan. 6 felons “hostages” and promises to spring these convicts from prison.

Of course, Trump vows vengeance on the news media, the “enemy of the people.” For God’s sake, Trump even mocked Biden’s stutter.

Compared to those recent word belches, his “bloodbath” comments are just a splish-splash. And if you think Trump’s words might get worse in the coming months, you’re bloody well right.

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