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There will always be violent people who break the laws.What is astonishing, however, and deeply disturbing, is how quickly extreme violence can erupt among people who have lived peacefully together for a long time. Over and over again, in societies all over the world, the civilized norms that protect us from anarchy and violence turn out to be perilously thin. Trump went much further during his campaign, when he encouraged followers at his mass rallies to attack the press verbally as "scum".Once again, the threat is veiled just thinly enough to be covered by constitutional free-speech protections.These gun-toting extremists, whose idea of patriotism is to regard the federal government as the enemy, are different from 1930s Brownshirts only in name. All that is needed for a politics of institutionalized violence is for such people to be given official license to unleash their most brutal impulses.This is why Trump's tweets are not just coarse playacting. Once the highest representatives of a democracy start stirring up violence, the mob takes over.
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