One side has a President repeatedly ramping up racist incitement, attacking the press as the “enemy of the people.” One side has a President who routinely leads cheers about imprisoning political opponents. His congressional supporters accept his rhetoric and now increasingly ape it. One side has a President who routinely fabricates outlandish falsehoods intended to generate outrage, fear and hate. One side has a group of rightist paramilitaries operating in various parts of the country. One side has mass ownership of high capacity firearms as a central part of its political ideology. The same side frequently focuses on private weapons ownership as a hedge against “tyranny”. In other words, they focus on the need to stock firearms for the potential need to use them against government officials and civil servants.
Adam Smith famously said there’s a lot of ruin in a nation. Violence is not actually rare but endemic in American life. But what we are seeing today has little precedent in our history. We don’t just have civil division and a rise of political violence. We have the ring leader and chief inciter holding the executive power of the state. The calls are coming from inside the house. It is not surprising that it has an effect, effects like we see today.
The scope and depth of damage that President Trump is doing to the country every day is hard to calculate.
Josh Marshall, writing at Talking Points Memo: