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Threatening to put heads on pikes would be one thing if it just meant political targeting by Trump and a Stalinist purge from the party.

It’s a whole other thing with armed militias marching through the streets and Trump supporters mailing bombs to critics.
What we have to realize is that Trump’s shadow activities aren’t relegated to foreign policy. His politics are inherently authoritarian and violent lightly masked by traditional deniability. Republicans know he has supporters obsessed with and ready to do violence.
When a Republican considers speaking against Trump they not only consider the electoral consequences. They know they’ll suffer the immediate white hot spotlight of rabid Right Wing media, followed by consistent and relentless threats against their families.
I can tell you this, as a minuscule player, anytime my name pops up on Fox or Breitbart or wherever, the threats are immediate. Republicans know they either stay in line or get instantly inserted as a devil in league with deadly conspiracists. And there’s implied violence.
The media is doing a terrible job elucidating this. It’s not just electoral politics, it’s living in a dangerous environment where the president can focus a hateful, violent, paranoid mob at any moment, including asymmetrical threats and attacks.
You can’t have the rule of law or an open society in this environment and that’s how authoritarians rule. They use expectations of normalcy and benefit of established doubt to construct open and closed methods. Everything Trump does have violence under the surface. Everything.
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