Monday, October 17, 2016
Charles Krauthammer writes a timely warning about the hazards of electing Donald Trump to the Presidency, noting with particular concern his repeated calls to imprison his opponent:
What makes Trump's promise to lock her up all the more alarming is that it's not an isolated incident. This is not the first time he's insinuated using the powers of the presidency against political enemies. He has threatened Amazon's Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, for using the newspaper "as a tool for political power against me and other people. ... We can't let him get away with it."This clarion call comes after he expresses astonishment that the only thing Trump's opponents seem to be able to get excited about is his "locker room talk," and before his pointed criticism of so many in the GOP who are going along with this:
With exercising free political speech?
Trump has gone after others with equal subtlety. "I hear," he tweeted, "the Rickets [sic] family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!"
He also promises to "open up" libel laws to permit easier prosecution of those who attack him unfairly. Has he ever conceded any attack on him to be fair?
[T]he answer is not to start a new process whose outcome is preordained. Conservatives have relentlessly, and correctly, criticized this administration for abusing its power and suborning the civil administration (e.g., the IRS). Is the Republican response to do the same?A Trump Presidency won't, "Make America great again," but it offers the disturbing and real possibility of making her much more like Venezuela or Russia, and for exactly the cultural reasons Krauthammer alludes to.
Clinton is very similar in many ways, but she seems to understand what republican norms look like and seems to have enough sense to value the appearance of following them enough not to openly abandon them.