Fast forward to 2019 and now we have President Trump telling Breitbart News, “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump — I have tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very, very bad.” Twenty-five years after the Helms incident, though, there certainly won’t be an apology from Trump for threatening violence against his political opponents, there won’t be an investigation and I bet we don’t find it on the front page of any newspaper.
It’s hard to overestimate the damage President Trump has done to our political climate when comments like this go virtually unnoticed. We’ve all become numb to the lying, bullying and physical threats the President makes almost daily.
But the real damage goes beyond the lost comity. What is behind these statements is a different kind of, and much more serious, threat to our democracy. President Trump is seeking to undermine the foundations of our democracy as a way of gaining and holding on to power.