Donald Trump might astound Americans on a routine basis, but we must draw a bright red line between political speech and suggestions of violence. Responsible, stable individuals won’t take Trump’s rhetoric to its literal end, but his words may provide a magnet for those seeking infamy. They may provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed.Trump may or may not have been alluding to a desire to see Clinton shot, but here's the thing: His willingness to blow that kind of dog whistle is yet another sign that he is far too reckless to serve in the Oval Office. As Jonathan Chait notes at New York Mag:
It must be the responsibility of all Americans — from Donald Trump himself, to his supporters, to those who remain silent or oppose him — to unambiguously condemn these remarks and the violence they insinuate. The integrity of our democracy and the decency of our nation is at stake.
One fact that has grown bracingly clear over the course of the presidential campaign is that the campaign is not about any of the normal issues in American politics, but about democracy. The other elections we all remember have pitted two small-d democrats against each other. This one pits a small-d democrat against a candidate who has repeatedly stated that strong leaders crush their enemies, who warns without evidence that Antonin Scalia was murdered and that the election will be “rigged,” who threatens retaliatory policy crackdowns on owners of newspapers whose coverage displeases him, who has asked Russia’s autocrat to conduct a cyberattack on his opponent, and who, today, exhorted his audience to violent insurrection.