If you inflame hatred, hatred will be inflamed

Gary Younge at the Guardian sees a connection between Trump’s constant stoking of hatred and the highly stoked hatred we see all around us.

Trump’s election and the xenophobic rhetoric that came with it not only emboldened schoolchildren to parrot bigotry to their peers, it gave the state free rein to unleash its power indiscriminately against a minority community. So when pipe bombs are sent to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, California congresswoman Maxine Waters and CNN it should be understood not only as a specific threat to democracy but as one of the most violent examples yet from a democracy that has long been under threat.

…Both in his candidacy and presidency Trump has made direct appeals to political violence. He has advocated protesters be beaten up at his rallies; tweeted a simulation of himself pummelling the news network CNN, as though in a wrestling match; encouraged police to rough up suspects; and in the week in which the Saudi government conceded that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in its consulate, he lauded a politician for body-slamming the Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs.

It’s not an edge case. He’s abnormal among presidents by a huge margin.

So when he says, as he did on Wednesday, “We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America”, it rings not only hollow but hypocritical.

This is the man who has led chants for Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned (“Lock her up!”); said the media were the “enemy of the people”; claimedObama founded Islamic State; praised those who marched alongside neo-Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, as “very fine people”; and described Waters, who had called on protesters to face down administration officials wherever they find them, as a “low-IQ person” and warned her “be careful what you wish for”.

Despite his efforts to appear presidential he could not help himself. “By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving today? Have you ever seen this?” His curated contrition was a big joke – others may have had their lives threatened but, ultimately, it was all about him.

Narcissists don’t change.

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