How appropriate that Donald Trump began his campaign on a descending escalator.
As a visual metaphor it said everything necessary. The watching public didn’t have long to wait until he had unleashed his ignorant, calculated vitriol.
“When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. […] They are sending people that have lots of problems. They are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime and their rapists, and some are good people, and I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”
Donald Trump, June 16 2015
The ensuing campaign has been exhaustively documented – ad nauseam – elsewhere. Hillary Clinton maybe not the best candidate for US president there has been. Yet the essential choice that Americans face is between a democrat and an anti-democrat.
My other-side-of-the-pond perspective: Trump has profited from the polity’s tolerance of a sustained attack on the fundamentals of representative democracy. Democratic debate should – must – be able to tolerate all views. Trump’s spoutings do not qualify as views though: they are anti-views. The man has to date: still not said he will respect the outcome of the election; has threatened to jail his opponents, and he has attacked unceasingly the media, the only link most people have to the goings-on of politics.
So am I advocating silencing Donald Trump and his anti-views, thereby violating his 1st amendment rights? Not at all. He should be free, like any number of other conspiracy obsessed types, to express his views. He just shouldn’t be able to use them as a platform for an electoral campaign. If you sign up to play the game, you agree to play by the rules.
Politics without rules, where those who have the available means do whatever they will, has a name. Fascism.