Donald Trump does not do subtle. You may have noticed that.
For example, the conservative Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs and made its considerable wealth through TD Ameritrade, recently donated $3 million to a SuperPAC devoted to defeating Trump. I don't like the laws that make that possible, but under those laws, such a donation is perfectly legal.
Taking to Twitter in response, Trump issued what can only be described as a poorly veiled threat against the Ricketts:
Of course, such things are everyday occurrences now. At a rally last night in Las Vegas before tonight's Nevada caucus, Trump was introduced by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has run afoul of a host of state, local and federal laws for abusing his power. During Trump's speech, a protester interrupted and was escorted out peacefully by security.
“We're not allowed to punch back anymore," Trump complained, looking on from the podium. "I love the old days. You know what they used to do to a guy like that in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks. Oh, it's true.... The guards are being very gentle with him. He's walking out, laughing, smiling. I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you."
"I’m just a guy who doesn’t want to be pushed around by a bunch of animals. These are animals.”
The crowd of 10,000 of course loved it. Fascist thugs do have their fanboys. In fact, a good chunk of the Republican Party wants to put this particular fascist thug in the White House, where he would be free to wield the considerable powers of the executive branch against his enemies, both foreign and domestic. They don't seem too concerned about that.
They should be, but they aren't. He gives them permission to act out their anger, and they give him permission to do the same. If Trump wins the GOP nomination -- and at this point he looks to be the clear favorite -- the next eight months are going to be the ugliest in American politics in more than a century. We'll survive it, and Trump will lose. But between now and then a lot of people are going to be showing a side of themselves that will embarrass them.