Hatred of Hillary Clinton is what unites the various Republican factions, who have been distanced by Donald Trump’s controversial nomination as presidential candidate. Attacks from a rival party are commonplace; what is unusual is how fierce they are this time around.
An example was the convention’s main speech on Tuesday night, when ex-presidential candidate Ben Carson, with twisted rhetoric, linked Clinton to Lucifer. As ridiculous and laughable as this is, it becomes worrisome when it falls in the ears of a majority-Christian public who believes that their faith is threatened by a secular society.
After remarks from the podium that put Clinton right next to the devil, nothing should be surprising. However, calls to “lock her up” because of her political and personal decisions became one of the chants at the convention.
Republican antagonism toward Hillary Clinton isn’t new. The former secretary of state has been a favorite target for Republicans ever since she arrived at the White House in the 1990s with ex-president Clinton. The unusually high political profile of the former first lady and her efforts to achieve health care reform inspired resentment among an ideological opposition and those who reject the feminism that the represented with her initiatives.
Ever since President Obama arrived at the White House, the GOP opposition has lowered the level of political speech, turning it into personal attacks. Trump’s candidacy has given free rein to a new level of belittling the opponent. Now, even some Republicans, like those of Connecticut’s delegation—unfortunately very few—have rejected the intensely sexist and misogynistic anti-Clinton merchandise being sold around the convention center, which delegates are proudly wearing.
The problem with attacks and insults from the podium is that they occupy space that should be used to explain the candidate’s proposals for governing. To clarify, once and for all, the details of plans that were announced—filled with adjectives but lacking content.
In reality, these ideas about government are what divide Trump from conservatives. Not having points in common that can be constructive, the solution is to systematically destroy the opponent as a reason to unite, and why not, to justify their political existence.