This is the craziest fucking election I’ve seen. Ever. Granted, my frame of reference is a hair under forty years, but still.
I figured I’d seen all the ugly campaign stuff. It’s not like politics is a particularly pretty business, and everyone who gets into it understands it is most definitely not for the faint of heart. Over the years there’ve been smear campaigns and questionable activities. Funding that’s a wee bit shady. Even outright lies about opponents have been on display.
Regardless of the ugly, though, at the core of it – way deep down in the political realm – it was still two (or more) feuding perspectives on an America we all believe in. I may have fundamentally disagreed with someone’s philosophy but in the end I managed a grudging respect for strong beliefs.
But the last couple of years have been a slide into a muddied frenzy of what the hell?
Near daily tweets that disparage democrats, women, reporters, brown and black people, the media as an institution – honestly, the list of people Donald Trump has insulted and dismissed is too extensive for a single blog post. Hell, at this point it might take a whole book. But Twitter as a media platform pales in comparison to the wilding at Trump rallies.
And just when I think we’ve hit the political low point in America – that surely it can’t get any worse – we see bombs delivered to liberal citizens two weeks before the primary. Here are the people who’ve been endangered so far (as of this morning):
Philanthropist George Soros, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, the CNN New York bureau, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (intended recipient) US Attorney General Eric Holder, actor/director Robert Di Niro, and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Do we know who sent them? Why? How? Nope. The investigation is ongoing. But we can see a pattern in the targets.
We’re mired in a political climate where people with opposing viewpoints are seen as the enemy and described as mobs. This level of vitriol has an effect far beyond motivating your base to get out the vote. Does someone have to die before we reel this thing back in?
I’m terrified the answer is yes.