Yesterday CNN posted a chilling article surveying “Hillary Clinton hate for sale on the streets of Cleveland.” Apparently gone are the days when conservative campaign swag focused on uplifting, positive (and inoffensive) slogan messages. This week on the streets of Cleveland you could buy T-shirts and buttons with “HilLIARy for Prison,” “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs, Two Small Breasts, Left Wing,” “Life is a Bitch, Don’t Vote for One,” and “Hillary sucks, but not like Monica.”
The thing we must appreciate is that this obscene incivility is directly correlated to the brute that the voters selected to lead the Republican Party into the fall election. There is a direct relationship between the demagogue behind the microphone and the obscene paraphernalia for sale on the streets. Trump has set the tone and the people have followed. Case in point: major Trump supporter Al Baldasaro has attracted the attention of the FBI for calling for Hillary’s execution by firing squad.
Yesterday Trump received accolades for not playing to the spontaneous “Lock her up” chant that broke out during his acceptance speech. Some folks even called that restraint “presidential.” Give me a break. That’s like praising a brat for not shooting spitballs during his sister’s piano recital. The fact that we think a minimal temporary demonstration of civility and decorum is praiseworthy is only because of the general debased behavior of the enfant terrible.
Today it’s a vulgar campaign button or T-shirt. Tomorrow it’s a pack of roving brown shirts breaking windows, threatening minorities, instilling hatred and fear.