The Republican National Convention is taking place from July 18-21 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Convention speakers and attendees have bristled with hatred for Hillary Clinton, with some demanding her incarceration.
Patricia Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, stoked the audience's anger by saying "I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the murder of my son," according to the New York Times. Attendees chanted "Lock her up!" as retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn spoke, and again as Chris Christie declared her guilty of lies and cover-ups. Darryl Glenn insisted that "Hillary Clinton is unfit to be President," adding that, "We all know she loves her pant suits, but we should...tell her she deserves a bright orange jump suit," according to a transcript published by the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Former presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Ben Carson made bizarre statements about Hillary Clinton, Satan, and the "secular progressive agenda". In a transcript of his speech posted at Bustle, he claimed that Saul Alinsky was one of Hillary Clinton's heroes, and that his stance on Lucifer was at odds with America's supposedly godly heritage.
"One of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky. This was someone that she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophies subsequently. Now, interestingly enough, let me tell you something about Saul Alinsky. He wrote a book called Rules For Radicals. On the dedication page, it acknowledges Lucifer, the original radical who gained his own kingdom. Now think about that. This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, talks about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator. This is a nation where our Pledge of Allegiance says we are "one nation, under God". This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says "In God We Trust". So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer? Think about that.
The secular progressive agenda is antithetical to the principles of the founding of this nation. If we continue to allow them to take God out of our lives, God will remove himself from us, we will not be blessed and our nation will go down the tubes and we will be responsible for that. We don’t want that to happen."
Outside the arena, Republican attitudes toward Clinton weren't much warmer. Mother Jones interviewed Trump supporters near the convention, who called Hillary Clinton a "tyrant", "fascist" and "an evil, lying witch". Some called for trial, incarceration, and even capital punishment for Clinton.
Even unofficial materials for sale outside the convention are brimming with misogynist hatred for Hillary Clinton. According to New York Magazine, pins are available at nearby kiosks with slogans such as "Life's a b**ch; don't vote for one" and "KFC Hillary special: 2 fat thighs, 2 small breasts, left wing". Huffington Post reports that some kiosks near the convention are selling T-shirts depicting Hillary Clinton falling off of Trump's motorcycle and Trump wearing a shirt that says "If you can read this, the b**ch fell off." Another T-shirt shows Trump as a victorious boxer, standing over a prone Hillary Clinton in a boxing ring.
Whatever one's opinion of Hillary Clinton, this rhetoric is unacceptable. Misogynist slurs, calls for execution, and Satanic innuendoes have no place in a civilized political campaign. Unfortunately, the Trump campaign is not civilized, and will continue to stoke the flames of anti-Hillary hatred. This can only spell trouble for a political environment already characterized by deep divisions, heightened emotions, and fear.