Donald J. Trump has been constantly lying and saying for months that “Hillary Clinton wants to take away your guns and abolish the Second Amendment… Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate ever to run for office.” It got major attention Friday when he said it to the NRA Convention, where he shockingly received their endorsement. For good measure, Trump added in another uncontested lie that Hillary wants to open up all the jails and let the murderers out (particularly the black ones just like Willie Horton, seen here, from the Bush-Dukakis era) so they can come and rape your women before they murder again… and you’ll be defenseless, just the way she wants it, because she’ll already have confiscated your gun. The sickest part of this is that, as usual, most of the reporting of the speech (excepted here) quickly mentions Trump is factually wrong but gives him credit for pushing the lie to his followers and white trash in the middle of Pennsylvania or in Ohio, etc. This is major-league Hitler/Goebbels-like demagoguery. Lie upon lie, accusing the opponent of dictator-like intentions when Trump is the one guaranteeing a Wall, rounding up 11 million+, excluding people from the country based on their religion only, and threatening US companies while practically promising an international trade war… as he encourages nuclear proliferation. One question: what kind of paranoid person believes anyone, including the President, can “abolish” the Second (or any) Amendment. That can’t happen under our Constitution, has never happened…. and we need to look more soberly at the candidate who has drilled down into an authoritarian, racist, nationalistic psyche that represents a bigger slice of America than we thought. Before the Great American Democratic Experiment is damaged beyond repair, please.
Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker, 5/20:
If Trump came to power, there is a decent chance that the American experiment would be over. This is not a hyperbolic prediction; it is not a hysterical prediction; it is simply a candid reading of what history tells us happens in countries with leaders like Trump. Countries don’t really recover from being taken over by unstable authoritarian nationalists of any political bent, left or right—not by Peróns or Castros or Putins or Francos or Lenins or fill in the blanks. The nation may survive, but the wound to hope and order will never fully heal. Ask Argentinians or Chileans or Venezuelans or Russians or Italians—or Germans. The national psyche never gets over learning that its institutions are that fragile and their ability to resist a dictator that weak. If he can rout the Republican Party in a week by having effectively secured the nomination, ask yourself what Trump could do with the American government if he had a mandate.