Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Amid the horror of a domestic terrorist targeting Americans from California to Florida with pipe bombs, President Donald Trump had barely gotten a call for unity out of his mouth when he went right back to demonizing others and stirring up hatred.
At a Friday night rally in North Carolina, a chance for Trump to help heal the nation instead dissolved into chants of “Lock her up” and “CNN sucks” as Trump smirked and did nothing to stop them.
With that, another brutal week came and went in Trump’s presidency, as the shock from the string of bombs sent from coast to coast was compounded with the news of the hate-fueled mass shooting that left 11 dead and at least six others injured at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Americans know this must stop.
And here in Nevada, we have a special responsibility to help steer the nation away from the extremists who’ve pushed Trump to power and helped enable his toxic divisiveness.
While our midterm election needs to be about Nevada issues, and it’s essential for voters to focus on that, swing states like ours are especially critical in determining the course of the nation.
Deep blue and deep red states are baked into the political equation. That being the case, it is the votes in Nevada and other swing states that matter in this midterm.
Will we vote to stop Trump’s rage machine? We must.
The past two years have been a parade of insane behavior and cruelty. It’s getting worse.
In the past two weeks alone, we’ve seen the horrors of Pittsburgh and the bomb deliveries, we’ve seen members of the alt-right group Proud Boys spill from a GOP event and beat people in the street, and we’ve seen Trump laud a candidate who body-slammed a reporter — and the list goes on.
We’ve seen him shrug off the slaying and dismemberment of a reporter by a repressive regime. We’ve seen the Republican architects of a plan to destroy health care for hundreds of thousands of Nevadans and millions nationwide lie about the assault on pre-existing conditions. We’ve seen news organizations across the nation — including Las Vegas Weekly and the Las Vegas Sun — threatened with violence. We’ve seen Trump threaten to revive the policy of separating families at the border. We’ve seen trans people’s civil rights threatened.
And through it all, we’ve heard the language of fear and hatred from the GOP, with Trump urging them on every step of the way.
As he’s demonstrated throughout his presidency, and most recently in North Carolina, Trump has no interest in uniting Americans. His hold on power depends on his ability to convince his supporters that they’re under threat from anyone who doesn’t support him, and that the only way they can be protected is to keep him in the White House and surround him with loyalists in Congress.
So his vilification of various individuals and groups continues virtually uninterrupted. Prominent Democrats. Immigrants. Muslims. The media.
Then there’s Trump’s ongoing attack on the truth, which is designed to further push Americans apart by leaving them unable to agree on basic facts. Trump has ramped up his lies during the midterm season, including saying that undocumented immigrants had taken over a city council in California and that residents in that state were rioting against sanctuary cities. Among his other blatant lies, Trump said Democrats want to give cars to undocumented immigrants and allow them to vote.
Fact checkers noted that on Sept. 7, Trump made a staggering 125 false or misleading statements during a pair of fundraisers and an interview with reporters over a combined period of about 120 minutes.
Meanwhile, more and more Republican lawmakers follow the example of Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and bend their knees to him, fearing that they otherwise might be on the receiving end of a hate tweet if they express opposition to him in any way.
So while Nevadans need to keep their eye on our state at the polls, we also are Americans who have a unique responsibility in this election cycle. That responsibility is to vote — powerfully, loudly, proudly — for a return to decency in our politics and for a check on a president and a party gone wild.
This is not a matter of liberal ideology vs. conservative ideology. Those debates are dignified arguments about policy.
This election is not about that. This election is about putting a check on an immoral, uncivil process underway in this country. It is about putting a check on an emerging plutocracy—perhaps even a kleptocracy. It’s about putting a check on a growing stain of racism.
Nevadans can tell America we stand for a reasonable, peaceful and honest way of addressing the issues we all face. We stand for a Congress able to place a check on would-be authoritarian leaders.
Nevada, our nation needs you. Nevada, go to the polls.
This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.