Earlier this week. Donald Trump's campaign manager and loyal spinbot, Kellyanne Conway, warned that her boss will weaponize Twitter against any businesses that fart in Trump's general direction. Then, on Thursday night's edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, Conway warned anyone and everyone who dares to criticize or attack Trump to be prepared for a retaliatory response from Trump Tower.
Conway put critics on notice, "People feel like with Donald Trump, they have license to say whatever the heck they want about this guy, with no consequences, with no blowback." She continued, "The guy has a right to defend himself. And he rarely draws first blood. It’s when he is attacked, he likes to set the record straight."
For the benefit of any poorly educated Trump supporters lurking here, this is an indirect violation of the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Nothing less. It's quite literally a warning that expressing our opinions about the president-elect will trigger The Leader Of The Free World to fight back, potentially shutting down dissenters. Oh, and hell yes -- we absolutely have the "license to say whatever the heck they want about this guy," shy of assassination threats or similar, of course. This is what free speech is all about: criticizing those in power. The First Amendment was written for this express purpose.
Worse, it's the second time this week in which Conway fired warning shots across the bows of anyone or anything that foolishly undermines Trump's raging verbal diarrhea.
This is not normal.
On top of trampling free speech rights, Conway and Trump are clearly influencing countless other twisted bastards to attack or intimidate perceived enemies of Trump's America. We already know about the spate of racially motivated attacks, including swastika graffiti, since Election Day--437 crimes in the first week alone following the election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Add to this list the following video of a pair of masked assailants who threatened two people-of-color outside a Ramada Inn in Bismarck, ND. The (cowardly) hate criminals were recorded by hotel guest screaming obscenities and warnings at two people who they thought were indigenous Standing Rock protesters.
Warning: this is the stuff of horror movies. (Also contains not-safe-for-work language.)
Here's the scene from inside the car, filmed by Shiyé Bidzííl, one of the victims:
This is Trump's America. This is our nation today, and Trump hasn't even been inaugurated yet. Now, granted, the criminals here don't specifically mention Trump, but it's fair to assume that, like many others including this guy, this woman and this other guy, they were inspired and emboldened by Trump's unexpected ascendancy.
For now, some of these screeching stupids are facing the consequences of their unforgivable behavior. The Delta airlines passenger who shouted random pro-Trump gibberish was banned for life. One of the bastards from the above North Dakota videos, 33-year-old Jesse McLain, was apprehended by authorities and will hopefully face a harsher punishment than the Delta guy. Though don't hold your breath expecting the judicial system to bring McLain and his accomplices to justice.
We're entering an extremely dark, sickening era in the United States. Even if the impossible occurs and Trump's presidency isn't a nonstop hellscape, the prevailing attitude surrounding his presidency is one of empowered hatred and vindictiveness. It's absolutely a form of terrorism, especially in the eyes of minorities and women who became obvious targets late on November 8, 2016.