Monday, October 10, 2016
Prepare The Gulags
Well, the second debate was hard to watch, mainly because neither of them did themselves, or us, very proud. Hillary was able to get in some serious policy discussion, and when asked at the end what she admires about Trump she managed to come up with some praise for his kids instead of the more truthful but probably less politic "Not one fucking thing."
Still, it was mostly a bunch of personal insults, the more grievous of which came from Donald, as expected. His were more personal, tacky, and pointless than hers ("She has hate in her heart," said the Mexicans-are-rapists candidate.)
Lost in the morass was the single most disturbing thing Donald Trump said: if he wins he'll appoint a special prosecutor to go after Hillary Clinton and put her in prison. That got enthusiastic applause from his henchpeople in the audience and, no doubt, will be cheered across the digital landscape that's found in a certain deplorable basket.
But think about it: if you piss off Donald, he puts you in prison. A gulag, I'd guess. Nor do his supporters find the idea the least bit repugnant or frightening. And they say when we liberals call him a demagogic tyrant and criticize his supporters, we're being nasty. Maybe that promise of his will burble up through the cesspool and be seen for what it was: the announcement of a would-be dictator, the first step toward subjugation, cheered on by those who assume they'd never be next.
I can't help thinking of President Obama right after he was elected, when there were calls for prosecution of his predecessors Dick and George for what were actual, undeniable, by-definition war crimes. Not in the country's best interest, the president decided, in what was the first of several decisions that disappointed the leftest side of his supporters. (For the record, I thought it was the right decision, but would have, on a personal-satisfaction level, loved to have seen it happen. But we liberals are able to think beyond immediate and selfish gratification.)
No, that was damn scary stuff, what Donald said and how his delusional followers reacted. USA! USA! USA! Give me your tyrants, your poorly informed, your huffing masses yearning to bleed me...
[Added: looking at various sources after I wrote the above without searching, it seems others saw it as I did. Reassuring on some level. Mike Pence, however, called it one of the best moments of the debate. So there you have it.]
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