No just person believes that Donald Trump ordered a Montana politician to body-slam a reporter, or thugs on both coasts to beat up anti-Trump demonstrators, or a mentally ill white supremacist in Kentucky to kill two black men in a Kroger store, or a terrorist in Florida to send 14 pipe bombs to Democratic leaders, or an anti-Semite in Pittsburgh to massacre Jewish worshipers.
But Trump’s words and actions do give aid and comfort to violent, right-wing extremists.
What else can one expect from all of his daily lies and tweets, his stump speeches and tough-guy posturing, his vilification of Democrats, the press, the legal system, immigrants, and anyone who is not white.
Consider his celebration of that body-slammer: “He’s my guy.” So, too, are many others.
Some say, “Oh, that’s just Trump being Trump.” To be sure, but it is also Trump being anti-American. No president of whatever party or level of competence has shown such contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law. The appalling truth is that Trump’s misconduct gives his most rabid, bigoted supporters license to be vigilantes.
Words matter. So does history.
One isn’t necessarily calling Trump a Nazi, when one notes that Hitler came to power using the Big Lie, violence in the streets, and demonization of opponents and minorities. What one is saying is that these are the ways of tyrants and that Trump embraces them.
The Rule of Law matters.
Americans of good will and good sense must stop Trumpism. But make no mistake: the only way to overcome an undemocratic president and his rabid foot soldiers is to use democratic methods.
As for those who are true Republicans, not Trump Republicans, it is time once more to be the party of Lincoln and Reagan.