It’s easy to see why conservative readers are canceling their subscriptions to large American newspapers when editors decide to print — and defend — letters comparing Trump to traitors who have been executed.
In a letter published in the Saturday, July 21 edition of the Denver Post, Suzanne Gagnon of Lakewood, Colorado rebuked Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner for not calling President Trump a traitor.
“If it walks like a traitor, and talks like a traitor, and acts like a traitor … it is a traitor,” Gagnon wrote about Trump.
Then she added, “Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed on a basis of far less evidence than is had on Trump and many in his administration.”
The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953 after being convicted for spying on the U.S. for the Soviet Union. They were accused of feeding vital weapons development information to the Soviets in order to help the Communists kills Americans.
It was a shocking comparison that Gagnon made. Some readers saw it as suggesting that Trump is deserving of the death penalty, too. And then she doubled down.
“Besides being in agreement with the actions recommended in the editorial of July 19, I believe there are many more actions that can and should be taken against Trump to keep him from destroying the U.S.,” she wrote.
When questioned about the letter, the Post actually defended their decision to publish it.
"We would never run a letter suggesting that the president of the United States be executed,” opinion editor Megan Schrader said. “Upon reviewing this letter, I don't think that was the letter writer's intent."
Conservative nonprofit Compass Colorado didn’t see it that way, though, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
"The mere fact the Denver Post would publish a letter to the editor with this type of language speaks to both the increasingly violent tone of liberals in Colorado politics and the desperation of the Post for readership," said executive director Kelly Maher, adding that, "This trend of violent language in Colorado is deeply concerning.”
"Just a few months ago the Boulder Daily Camera published a letter to the editor asking if citizens have a moral responsibility to take arms against oil and gas well workers, and the liberal group ProgressNow Colorado tweeted out a picture of Senator Cory Gardner with blood on his hands after a shooting, and now this Denver Post letter," she explained. "This violent and divisive rhetoric will do nothing to change hearts or minds, it's designed to entrench and inflame.”
Meanwhile, in Seattle, a man claimed that “A piece of clothing can be inherently violent” after snatching a “Make America Great Again” hat off the head of a teen, spitting on it, and throwing it into the street.
CORRECTION: This story was corrected from its original version to make it clear that Gagnon did not explicitly call for Trump to be given the death penalty.