Donald Trump is Not Obligated to Defend Other Candidates, Condemn Own Supporters
Some Candidates Are Running Against You...And There's Nothing Wrong With That
Donald Trump is running for president as a Republican. He is loud and obnoxious. He has no electoral political experience. I do not support him.
However, I am tired of Democrats whining whenever a Republican candidate does not immediately condemn any untoward utterances any questioner or commentator makes about a Democrat. Right now, Donald Trump is embroiled in a brouhaha over erroneous comments about Barack Obama and Muslims made by a supporter. Instead of condemning the comments, Trump gave a glib sidestep and said that he would "look at things."
Do candidates have an affirmative obligation to condemn offensive comments their supporters make about their opponents? No, they do not.
Expecting candidates to condemn any untoward comments made by their own supporters is rather silly. And, since there is a hefty liberal bias among the media, this expectation would hinder Republican candidates far more than Democrats. When supporters of a Democratic candidate make slanderous comments about a Republican, do we immediately demand a public condemnation from the candidate? I do not seem to recall many brouhahas over controversial criticisms of Republican figures like Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, or Trump himself.
Insisting that politicians condemn controversial remarks made by their own supporters seems rather un-American. The candidates who are targeted by the remarks can stand up for themselves or have their supporters refute the attacks. Demanding that candidates self-regulate their own supporters discourages open and active political discourse. It also disadvantages less mainstream candidates like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, whose supporters are likely to be more zealous and vocal.
If you feel something wrong was said, you should condemn it. Insisting that candidates apologize for their own supporters is a step too far. It forces those candidates off message and unfairly advantages insider candidates who enjoy a "silent majority."
Sometimes you need a little heat in political discourse. You need to stir the pot a little bit. We should not let our social media generation's obsession with outrage reduce political anger to milquetoast snark. People are angry and say the wrong things, even offensive things. This may not be pleasant, but it is American.
I will not vote for Donald Trump, but he should not have to apologize for his vocal supporters.