Thread by @brianklaas: “1. There have always been violent extremists. But when attacks happened …
1. There have always been violent extremists. But when attacks happened under Reagan or Clinton or Bush or Obama, you couldn’t point to insane anti-Semitic conspiracy theories they had recently spread. They didn’t praise neo-Nazis. They didn’t call reporters “enemy of the people”
2. They didn’t explicitly praise political violence by saying a man who committed violent assault was “their kind of guy.” They didn’t tell their supporters that they would pay for legal fees if they “knocked the crap” out of peaceful protesters.
3. They didn’t promote doctored videos of them violently knocking down their opponents by hitting them with a golf ball. They didn’t share video of them punching and tackling a news network that criticized them. They didn’t call political opponents “a stain on America.”
4. Their closing ads didn’t feature three prominent Jews (with ominous music) claiming they controlled the global levers of power. They didn’t share memes of their opponents with a Star of David and a pile of cash. They didn’t lead chants to “lock up” their opponents.
5. They didn’t explicitly demonize people because of the color of their skin or their religion. They didn’t say “2nd Amendment people” would need to take things into their own hands if their opponent won. They didn’t downplay attacks and amplify lunatics who called them hoaxes.
6. They didn’t absurdly suggest that their opponents had “founded” terrorist groups. They didn’t legitimize outlets like InfoWars, which stoke hate while spreading lunatic lies. They didn’t wake up every morning and target a new scapegoat who later received bombs in the mail.
7. When attacks happened, they didn’t lament that it was politically inconvenient. They didn’t “joke” that they were the real victim because the subsequent press conference gave them “a bad hair day.” They didn’t attack the victims of attacks the same day they were attacked.
8. This shouldn’t be a Democrat vs. Republican issue. It’s democracy vs. authoritarian populism; decency vs. bigotry; and empathy vs. cruelty. Presidents didn’t used to behave like this. They didn’t praise political violence. Vote—to bring the US back to decent leadership.