A new low

Great WaPo editorial on Chris Christie’s truly shameful display the other night.  The headline pretty much nails it, “Memo to Republicans: Democracies don’t lock up political opponents.”

Every convention spends some time rabble-rousing against the opposition, and this one is particularly focused on Ms. Clinton’s alleged wrongs because the Republican Party cannot agree on much else this year. But the Trump campaign’s descent from standard red-meat partisanship to unprecedented accusations of criminality displays contempt for the rule of law and a startling disinterest in fact and reason. [emphases mine] Investigation after investigation into Benghazi, Libya, and Ms. Clinton’s emails have not uncovered the sort of rampant abuse Republican rhetoric suggests. Even if FBI Director James B. Comey had recommended she be charged — an action, he rightly said, no reasonable prosecutor would take — there is essentially no chance she would have seen conviction and jail time.

The “lock her up” motif rightly heightens fears of how Mr. Trump would govern, given the contempt he has shown for traditional democratic norms and the rank ignorance of the Constitution he has displayed. But it is a bad sign for the next four years even if Mr. Trump loses. When the critique of political opponents becomes so disproportionate and divorced from reality, democracy, which requires goodwill and compromise, cannot function.























About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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