Opinion | Donald Trump’s Support of Extremism and Conspiracy Theories

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That is dangerous on many ranges. “The president isn’t just the chief of the executive branch, but the head of state,” stated Ian Bassin, who labored within the White Home Counsel’s Workplace in the course of the Obama administration and now runs the nonprofit group Defend Democracy. “That means part of what the presidency is about is norm-setting. When a president establishes that it’s OK to make fun of people with disabilities, or to be racist, or to lie, or to assault women, you see that replicated in society. That’s not a surprise.”

Mr. Trump doesn’t simply mock his enemies. He demonizes and dehumanizes them. His assaults have resulted in his targets — whether or not a lawmaker like Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a tv persona like the previous Fox Information anchor Megyn Kelly, a authorities scientist like Dr. Anthony Fauci, or a regular American citizen — getting swamped with dying threats, and in some instances requiring private safety.

The violent rhetoric, and its penalties, started virtually as quickly as Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign for the White Home did.

In August 2015, barely two months after Mr. Trump introduced his presidential bid by accusing Mexican immigrants of being “rapists,” two Boston males beat a homeless man with a steel pipe after which urinated on him. “Donald Trump was right,” one of many males stated, based on the police. “All these illegals need to be deported.”

Mr. Trump tweeted out a condemnation of the assault, calling it “terrible” and saying, “I would never condone violence.” However repeatedly on the marketing campaign path, he did simply that.

At a February 2016 marketing campaign rally, he instructed his supporters: “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell out of them. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”

A couple of weeks later he stated of 1 protester, “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you.”

At one other rally, a protester being escorted out by the police was sucker-punched. Mr. Trump called the assault “very, very appropriate” and the form of motion “we need a little bit more of.”


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