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Here is a Washington Post piece that expands upon some of Trump's more pernicious lies. But moreover, it reminds us of some of the claims he's made that he's actually stuck to... such as promising to bring back waterboarding and worse. (If memory serves me, an interviewer told him that, given that the Supreme Court had ruled waterboarding unconstitutional, the military could not legally carry out such an order. Trump's response, as I recall: 'they'll do whatever I tell them to do'). Then of course, we have the promise to exercise greater control over the press, the promise to imprison Hillary if he's elected, the refusal to accept the outcome of the election weeks before the election had even taken place, the promise to deport eleven million people, the celebration of racial profiling, the promise to stop all Muslims from entering the country, the promise to go after Judge Curiel and after specific figures in the media with whom Trump has an oppositional history, the promise to punish women who terminate their pregnancies, the promise to start a trade war with the entire world, the ongoing praise of Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein, the approval of Russian hacking of American servers, the casual musing on the possibility of nuclear warfare, etc. 

And let's not forget, the repeated derision aimed toward the appearances of his female opponents (Carly Fiorina and Clinton), his doubling down on the mockery of Alicia Machado, and the numerous tapes in which he endorses, yes, endorses, sexual assault. It has been amusing (albeit depressing) to watch Hillary's television ads. The vast majority of them rely exclusively on playing the actual audio and video of Trump himself. In other words, the greatest objections to a President Trump come from Trump himself. These comments are not taken out of context or misrepresented. They are simple, direct quotations from the horse's mouth. It was equally amusing, during the Vice-Presidential debate, to watch Mike Pence furrow his brow and shake his head in repeated denial of Tim Kaine's claims, while Kaine straightforwardly quoted Trump's own words. 

In addition, this piece from the Washington Post points out the ways in which not only Trump, but the entire Republican party, has declared war on the institutions of American democracy. Two of the most salient examples are the right's refusal to even hold a hearing on Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland, on the ridiculous ground that, given that the nomination came in the last year of Obama's presidency, they should await the outcome of the presidential election. But even more concerning is that Republicans are now suggesting that they will similarly obstruct into the next presidential term, even if Hillary wins. Not to mention that they are already threatening impeachment, and promising not to work with her. 

Some argue that all this hubbub is just that, and that surrounding every presidential election is the paranoia that, depending on the outcome of the election, it could mean the end of the republic. While I understand the argument and acknowledge its merits (I remember when Obama first ran, and the left argued that America could not survive a 'third Bush term', while the right argued that Obama would usher in the most aggressive expansion of government since Johnson's Great Society... every presidential election, it seems, is the 'most important of our lifetime'), nevertheless, something feels different about this one. Given the politicization of our democratic institutions, the increasing public acceptability of explicitly racist and misogynistic language, the contempt that this campaign is showing towards the freedoms of speech, press, and religion, the promises of extreme violence against opponents foreign and domestic, the disdain for the constitution, and so on, it seems as though damage is being done to the fabric of American democracy, and I'm not sure that it can be undone anytime soon, regardless of the outcome of the election. 
 


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