The already nasty political season took a predicted violent turn just south of us Sunday when an apparent firebomb engulfed the Republican headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina,, and someone spray-painted swastika and the words “Nazi Republicans leave town or else” on a nearby wall.
Bombastic GOP candidate Donald Trump quickly tried to blame his opponent for the attack, Tweeting “animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning.”
Ironic, and hypocritical rhetoric from Trump, who laces his speeches with anger, threats of attacks and incitements of violent repercussions if he loses his currently faltering quest for the Presidency.
We saw posts on Facebook this weekend predicting violence when Trump goes down in flames on election day.
Some posts point to a Boston Globe story:
Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.
At Trump’s often incendiary rallies, supporters wear t-shirts that say “Trump that bitch” and others with stronger obscene expletives. The Arizona Republic, which had always endorsed the Republican candidate for President throughout its history, gave its nod to Democrat Clinton this year and the editor of the paper is now receiving death threats.
One of our local hotheads warned me to “you will pay for your sins” after I wrote a column about the antics of Trump.
The Globe in Boston continues:
And if Trump doesn’t win, some are even openly talking about violent rebellion and assassination, as fantastical and unhinged as that may seem.
“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”
Trump strokes such anger and peppers his speeches with rants about conspiracies against him, while avoiding ever accepting responsibility for his antics and actions.
President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their top aides, along with leaders on Capitol Hill, worry about the preview Trump is providing in this final month, part kamikaze mission to take down Clinton, part temper tantrum by a man who has never been embarrassed on either this scale or spotlight.
They worry about how his egged-on followers might respond, and the violence — perhaps against Muslims, Latinos or any of the many other groups he has targeted in his campaign rhetoric — that might follow.
“People do dangerous things when dangerous leaders foment deep resentment,” said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).
To date, no daily newspaper in America has endorsed Trump for President, an unprecedented moment in a presidential campaign. Most, like the Arizona Republican, have endorsed Clinton while others — like The Richmond Times-Dispatch — gave their nod to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson or others chose to make no endorsement.
Many express shock of the religious right and evangelicals who support and endorse Trump. Columnist Jeff Jacoby says that will come back to haunt them:
It will take a long time to assess the full extent of the damage wrought by Donald Trump on the Republican Party and American conservatism. But this much is already clear: Buried under the post-election wreckage will be the moral credibility of the religious right.
Hypocrisy and politics have gone hand in hand since time immemorial. But the embrace of Trump by influential religious conservatives — who have always insisted that they, like Hebrew National, answer to a higher authority — is orders of magnitude worse than the customary flip-flopping and sail-trimming of a presidential campaign.
The Moral Majority’s roots like in nearby Lynchburg with its founding and promotion by the late Jerry Falwell, the fire-breathing Baptist preacher and founder of Liberty University, where students are protesting the support of Trump by current President Jerry Falwell, Jr.
Other college Republican groups have turned against the national party for its support of Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump is on full charge against anyone and everyone. Reports The Washington Post:
He is preaching to the converted. He is lashing out at anyone who is not completely loyal. He is detaching himself from and delegitimizing the institutions of American political life. And he is proclaiming conspiracies everywhere — in polls (rigged), in debate moderators (biased) and in the election itself (soon to be stolen).
In the presidential campaign’s home stretch, Donald Trump is fully inhabiting his own echo chamber. The Republican nominee has turned inward, increasingly isolated from the country’s mainstream and leaders of his own party, and determined to rouse his most fervent supporters with dire warnings that their populist movement could fall prey to dark and collusive forces.
Hold on to your seats. The ride is almost over but it will be a rocky one.