UPDATE: Chaos has erupted in Chicago, both inside and outside the Trump rally there. LIVE stream immediately below, followed by two previously recorded clips.
When leaders behave irresponsibly, their followers aren't too far behind. In the case of Donald Trump, his behavior on the main-stage of his traveling circus sideshow has been slowly leeching out to infect his throng of white, derangement-suffering disciples. The distinguishing difference between Trump and his people, however, is this: Trump is more or less playing a character in his own reality show, while his followers think he's being serious.
And so they're zealously lashing out because they believe their master would want them to.
This week, we've witnessed Trump supporters sucker-punching African-American protesters. We've seen Trump's campaign manager roughing up an otherwise friendly reporter from Breitbart. We've watched over and over again as Trump himself has not just condoned violence against protesters and unfriendlies, but in fact he's repeatedly ordered his minion to do it.
Overall, Trump is running a campaign in which the rules of decency, decorum and collegiality, heretofore employed in even the most contentious political debates, have been rejected in lieu of an anything-goes campaign. Profanity is good. Rage is good. Obama's America sucks. And Trump is God. Whatever it takes to "make America great again" is the perpetual order of the day in Trump's microcosmic, microphallussed universe of orange shitola. Unfortunately, Trump's recipe for greatness calls for modern day manifestations of old-school lynchings.
Screeching, flailing, mockery and corporal punishment are Trump's platform planks, and it's chum for the feckless mob. Bad behavior breeds worse behavior and nothing Trump can say now will put the racist egg back into the KKK shell. It's out there now, and Trump has barely been held accountable for any of it, presumably because 1) he'll threaten to sue his accusers, and 2) the Trump mosh-pit is great for cable news ratings.
It's one thing to inspire voters and activists to greatness. It's one thing to challenge the people to build a better society. Trump is doing neither of these things. His path to "greatness" appears to be an extension of the Bush-era GOP's path: shoot now, ask questions later, demand a trophy.
But, of course, most decent people understand that true greatness is earned by courage, restraint, honor and sacrifice. Not bullying. Not bug-eyed fury. Duh. (Frankly, and speaking of the Bush era, if the Iraq War wasn't enough of a waste of humanity and treasure, the fact that so few of the apoplectic rage-aholics at Trump's rallies have been inspired by the courage, restraint, honor and sacrifice of our returning veterans further squanders the greatness of the troops.)
So, today I'll speak directly to Trump's brainwashed supporters with a very serious question. Tell me whether the following videos are helping to "make America great again" or if it's a shocking embarrassment, representative of how shockingly embarrassing your candidate is. The rest of us know it's the latter, but I want to hear it from the Trump people.
This week in St. Louis, Missouri:
For better or worse, Trump is a national political leader now. And he needs to start acting like one -- either that, or he needs to shut the hell up before someone gets killed.