I used to joke about the "coming purge of America" by Trump's furious supporters in their senior mobility devices and their diesel flareside pickups with Confederate flag gun racks.
Nobody should be laughing anymore after this weekend, especially here in the Cincinnati area.
Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.
They believe what Trump has told them over and over, that this election is rigged, and if he loses, it will be because of a massive conspiracy to take him down.
At a time when trust in government is at a low point, Trump is actively stoking fears that a core tenet of American democracy is also in peril: that you can trust what happens at the ballot box.
His supporters here said they plan to go to their local precincts to look for illegal immigrants who may attempt to vote. They are worried that Democrats will load up buses of minorities and take them to vote several times in different areas of the city. They’ve heard rumors that boxes of Clinton votes are already waiting somewhere.
And if Trump doesn’t win, some are even openly talking about violent rebellion and assassination, as fantastical and unhinged as that may seem.
“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”
He then placed a Trump mask on his face and posed for pictures.
The thing is we all know someone like Dan Bowman. And we should be now asking ourselves just how serious he is.
There's a reason I'm not sporting Clinton/Kaine bumper stickers. It's because the people I work with are sporting III-percenter, Molon Labe, and Blue Lives Matter flags. And Trump stickers.
I'm a big guy. I'm not Luke Cage. I'm not bulletproof by any means. If somebody at work or around town decides to take offense at my support of Democrats here, really decides to take offense, well I end up a hashtag and it really won't be long before FOX News discovers my blog, huh.
Guys like Dan Bowman want me to be scared. You'd be absolutely foolish not to be when you hear about a man openly bragging at a political rally about starting a bloody coup should that politician's opponent win.
But I'm going to vote anyway, because it's my duty to do so. It's literally the least I can do in order to maintain the America I want to live in. I'm doing it because the people who should be most vocally against Trump, the Republican party voters who should be horrified at this, are silent and complicit.
I will not be.