By Peter Horn | @PeterCHorn
Yesterday witnessed a scary moment in American politics, as a deranged mad-man was rushed off the stage at a Republican Presidential campaign rally in Reno, Nevada. Investigations are underway, but what we’ve learned thus far about the suspect is concerning, and the American people should remain on high alert.
The suspect’s Twitter feed reveals a deeply disturbed individual who promotes a toxic blend of conspiracy theories, race-baiting, misogyny and an ego that is both vast and exceptionally fragile. A man driven to the brink of reality by his desire to mask and project his own shortcomings, a modern-day Narcissus both infatuated with and haunted by the reflection in the water. Although he now breathlessly supports the NRA, the suspect is not believed to have ever owned or fired a gun. However, he should still be considered an imminent danger and treated with extreme caution.
From a racist birther crusade against the President, to his claim that global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese, the suspect has proven a willingness to mislead and perpetuate blatant falsehoods to further his personal brand. In his gilded perspective, truth is secondary to personal utility, a fact made more problematic by his legions of supporters. This group has been painted a grim, dystopic vision of America by the suspect, who’s promised he will fix their problems through isolationism, minority scapegoating and the last remaining antidote that he, and he alone, possesses.
While his political leanings over the years can best be described as opportunistic oscillation, his treatment of women has remained consistent. A self-promoting philanderer unafraid of the third-person perspective, the suspect has been known to assume various aliases (John Miller, John Barron) to plant stories with the media detailing his genre-blurring personal love conquests. Recently retrieved Access Hollywood recordings suggest a more sinister side of his misogyny, as the man was caught on a hot mike bragging about non-consensual sexual advances he’s made on women throughout the years. Regardless of the assumed alias, we would recommend women avoiding unsupervised interaction with the suspect, including, but not limited to, elevators, first-class sections in airplanes and beauty pageant dressing rooms.
Whether it aligns with his personal views or not, the suspect has already shredded the edges of our nation’s moral fiber by giving voice to the most shadowy recesses of our population. His refusal to condemn and disavow the racially fueled violence at his rallies and the anti-Semitic white nationalism that has entrenched itself in his supporter base has normalized thought patterns and behaviors many thought we as a nation had long ago moved past. Receiving the endorsement of The Crusader, a KKK-affiliated newspaper, is the logical conclusion to a movement seeded by the declaration that Mexican Americans are “rapists and murderers” and the refusal to immediately disavow the support of David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard. It appears that the suspect’s repeated dog whistling has brought the dogs running in, ready to feed.
The suspect’s aforementioned vast and fragile ego has been identified as a bullseye for outside actors eager to gain influence on our political system. A simple compliment from the Russian president sent the suspect swooning, resulting in numerous troubling pro-Russia comments and last-minute policy platform changes that has left the international intelligence community deeply concerned. He has shown a blind deference to the “strength” exhibited by some of the world’s most brutal authoritarians—a point exacerbated by an elementary grasp of foreign policy—and a willingness to completely disregard classified intelligence briefings on the role of the Russian government in the hacks of the Democratic party.
When his intentions became clear, authorities acted heroically, ushering the suspect off the stage before any more damage could be done. His motives, and potential co-conspirators, remain under investigation, but even at this early stage, the suspect’s behavior indicates this was in fact an assassination attempt.
On the Republican Party itself.