Trump ‘Bloodbath’ Context Matters: Past Language Shows Pattern


Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. | Source: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / Getty

Donald Trump is adamantly insisting that his recent threat of a “bloodbath” if he loses another presidential election referred to the auto industry. But, of course, all one has to do is take a brief look back at the context of similar past rhetoric from Trump to understand exactly what he meant by that word.

In case you missed it, during a campaign rally in Ohio on Saturday ahead of the state’s presidential primary, Trump had some stern words for Chinese President Xi Jinping about potential ramifications over a car plant in Mexico that is owned by China.

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Shortly after his rant began, Trump said: “Now if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole — that’s gonna be the least of it. It’s going to be a bloodbath for the country. That will be the least of it. But they’re not going to sell those cars. They’re building massive factories.”

If we stop right there, even the uninitiated likely recognize Trump’s words to be dripping with political violence like the kind he’s accused of stoking for the Jan. 6 Capitol riots in 2021.

However, that threat of a “bloodbath” wasn’t seemingly that big of a deal until he added the following words: “If this election isn’t won, I’m not sure that you’ll never have another election in this country.”

Those fateful words clearly provided context – defined as “the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning” – to Trump’s overall message.

But now, after a political firestorm over the word “bloodbath” lent further credence to ongoing fears that Trump is aiming to incite political violence – like the Jan. 6 riots that were sparked because he lost to Joe Biden – the former president wants people to believe he was only talking about cars.

Political strategist Antjuan Seawright is among the Democrats who simply don’t believe Trump, who already has a documented history of shamelessly lying with impunity.

“Let’s talk about context,” Seawright said Monday in a statement to NewsOne about Trump’s “bloodbath” threat. “Let’s talk about the fact that Donald Trump began this event by paying tribute to the insurrectionists who carried Confederate flags as they attacked the Capitol on January 6. Let’s talk about Projects 2025 and MAGA Republicans publicly pledging to turn back the clock on equality and Civil Rights if Trump wins. Let’s talk about him calling Americans vermin and promising to root them out.”

Seawright also correctly pointed out that Trump has previously had trouble trying to contextualize obvious hateful and threatening statements and sentiments that many times fall along racial lines.

But this time, Trump very clearly said what he said.

“This is a man who has spent the past twelve years embracing white supremacists and dictators and that’s context he made these comments in,” Seawright added. “Donald Trump wants Black voters and all Americans to ignore that context. But we know better. If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it’s probably a duck. This weekend, Donald Trump was quacking pretty loudly.”

The media coverage of the “bloodbath” was just the latest bad news for Trump.

On Monday, defense lawyers in Trump’s civil fraud trial that resulted in a $464 judgment for exaggerating the worth of his business and assets said their client – a purported billionaire – can’t afford to pay the bond required to appeal the decision. New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office successfully prosecuted Trump in the case, will be able to begin collecting on the judgment next week if a bond cannot be secured. The $464 million figure will have more than $110,000 tacked on daily until the judgment is paid in full.

Three days earlier, Trump learned that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was not disqualified from prosecuting a sweeping conspiracy case against the former president and more than a dozen co-defendants accused of playing various roles in trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

In between learning his legal fate on Friday and Monday, Trump decided it would be a good idea to threaten “a bloodbath” if he loses another presidential election.

Again, context matters.


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