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President Trump once again proved he’s not the right guy for the job, this time by humiliating himself with his blatantly racist comments. We want more people from Norway? Presumably so he can date their daughters after Melania wilts. But aside from that, the racism is pretty clear. No good people can possibly come from Haiti or Africa or anywhere there are brown people, so why let any of them in?

I’ll be honest. Trump has been around public life for years and has dealt with people of all stripes during his long career. As much as I detest him, his demagoguery and race baiting, I always saw it more as politically opportunistic with a racist base than how he personally feels about various classes of people. I guess I was wrong, which doesn’t really break my heart to discover. I see it for what it is. He really doesn’t like dark people all that much.

Shocker.

A day or two ago, Mike Pence was told by a supporter that she was basically ready to take up arms against the US government if voter fraud was responsible for Donald Trump losing the election. How she would make that determination was unclear, but after listening to the emotion in her voice as she asked her question, it seemed that ANY Trump defeat will be seen by people like her as voter fraud. Furthermore, given Trump’s predilection for crying about his treatment by, well, everyone, he can be expected to willfully fan the flames as well.

Making matters worse, Pence encouraged the idea. Instead of reassuring her of the overall health of the US voting system, he chose to discuss the ongoing investigation of voter fraud is his state, seemingly calling the entire election system into question. He then stepped things up a notch by suggesting that everyone needs to sign up to be volunteer poll watchers to prevent such things from happening as if voter fraud was a routine occurrence in our elections.

Those of us who pay attention know that Donald’s push for ‘poll watchers’ is nothing more than a blatant attempt to dress up voter intimidation in a pretty new outfit by creating the illusion that his supporters are there to help. Don’t be fooled. He just wants his own army of brown-shirts to ‘police’ polling places that they have no business policing.

How could 20 antagonistic (in some locations open-carry) Trump supports be anything BUT intimidating when they linger and leer at minorities trying to enter voting locations? Let’s get real, this is terrifying and dangerous stuff and predicting conflict to follow this scenario isn’t a stretch.

Worse than the demagoguery and private army building is the fact that people like this unfortunate woman aren’t clever enough to know they are being manipulated. They listen to to right-wing radio, watch right-wing TV, and read right-wing press. Then they hear voices like Trump who today suggested the US would literally end and ISIS would take over America if Hillary wins the election. Oh. My. God.

Donald isn’t just nuts, he’s downright dangerous and he’s begun treading into some dark places in his quest for power. With every proclamation of imminent doom, his die-hard followers are becoming more excitable and extreme.

So this begs the question: where does the line between free political speech end and dangerous political speech begin? Does the unthinkable need to actually happen before we recognize our peril?

Demagoguery is dangerous for a reason and if this woman’s worldview isn’t a perfect example of why, then you’re not paying attention. Race bating, fear mongering, and false cries of persecution are the demagogue’s tools. They should not be tolerated to any degree because they lead to conflict. Today it’s just threats, but things will only get worse if this continues.

This is possibly the most important reason we need to defeat Donald Trump. We need to win decisively. The Donald Trumps of the world can’t be allowed to overcome the strength of our republic.

People accuse Trump of being racist, and I don’t know if that’s true or not. But what I do know is that he manipulates people using racial issues and he does this for personal gain. So whether or not he himself is actually racist is the lesser of evils. When Trump accuses President Obama of not being born in the United States he is willfully manipulating the racist element in society who would believe such a lie. In fact, he’s speaking directly to this group.

This tactic is insidious, one might say evil, even. To the fringe element, it is a call to violence. So, Trump openly, nakedly aspires to use the fear and hatred of others for his own personal gain. If that is not evil, then I do not know what evil is.

People accuse President Obama playing the race card. We have all heard it at one time or another. That President Obama would address racial issues as a black president seems like it would be a foregone conclusion. Some may call that ‘playing the race card’ but we know better. I would defy the detractors to find an example where President Obama has used race in such a blatant way as Trump, who for nearly 5 years perpetuated a known, outrageous and race-based lie.

Trump has used race as a cornerstone of his political rise. He built his foundation on racism and exploiting the racist fears of the under educated who form a large segment of his base. His recent ‘admission’ (if you can call it that) that President Obama was born in the US rings hollow. His followers don’t believe him, and neither do the rest of us. Instead, we all the see the truth of his statement on the subject for exactly what it is, regardless of our political affiliation: It’s just another cynical attempt to win the election. The difference is that the racist elements of his base doesn’t care.