Chris Christie delivered easily the most chilling speech of the Republican National Convention. He didn’t just attack Hillary Clinton. He led the crowd in a mock prosecution of Hillary Clinton.See also McKay Coppins:
Christie’s conceit -- a prosecutor inviting a mob to condemn the accused on count after count -- resembled a show trial more than anything else, free of any and all protections for the defendant.
Obviously it wasn’t a real trial of any kind. But the implication was nonetheless clear: Clinton deserves to be dragged to court for what she’s done when what she’s done is pursue policy options that Chris Christie doesn’t like.
... what made Christie’s speech genuinely scary was that it was a distillation of the Republican convention so far, not an aberration from it. Both nights featured the crowd breaking into frequent, raucous chants of, "Lock her up!" Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn repeatedly stopped his own speech to echo the crowd’s call to imprison Clinton.
... The jailing of political opponents is something that happens in dictatorships and banana republics. It is not something an advanced democracy can accept as a normal demand.
If Hillary Clinton wins in November, she's going to get sworn in with a wide swath of the electorate believing she should be in jail.— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) July 20, 2016
And I'll stand by my response:
Or executed. https://t.co/FM5R9sB2bb— Steve M. (@nomoremister) July 20, 2016
This is frightening, but it's certainly au courant. We're in a moment when a lot of people, even in democracies, simply don't think their enemies should be allowed to walk around free.
Some of this is on the left -- I don't want to go all Jonathan Chait on you, but there are people, especially on some campuses, who don't think even idea-based right-wing speech should have a hearing.
But much more of it is on the right. Christie's speech came on the day when Breitbart editor and pprofessional attention whore Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently suspended from Twitter for encouraging his hatemongering followers to harass Leslie Jones, a black actress who's in the new Ghostbusters. That movie, with four female leads, has inspired a large group of man-babies to proclaim that it simply shouldn't exist. The boys can't merely choose to stay away from it; instead, its estrogen level is described as a threat to their very lives.
Gamergaters want to drive women out of the gaming industry. A coalition of white male science fiction writers and fans wants to prevent pro-diversity writers from being nominated for Hugo Awards. And on and on.
This is how a lot of our fellow citizens think right now: If you don't share my opinion, you should be banished from the face of the earth. The GOP may not be the party of youth, but the RNC lynch mob seems very contemporary.