One night not long ago a trespasser removed a Hillary Clinton lawn sign from my yard – while I watched in disbelief from the living room – reminding me of the profound threat to the First Amendment posed by Donald Trump and his supporters. Mine isn’t the only Clinton lawn sign to go missing in recent weeks, and certainly stolen campaign signs are nothing new – by themselves they don’t signal the end of world. But given the violence wrought on Trump rally protestors and repeated denigration of the press by the candidate himself, one must wonder about any tolerance of dissidence – or the truth – in a prospective Trump administration.
The recent trespassing incident on my property also reminded me that in Woodbridge, no one should be surprised at the rise of ‘Trumpism’ – it’s been part of the local political landscape for the past couple of election cycles already. False information and pronounced, pervasive negativity only begin to describe it.
Repeated assertions that nothing in government works well, that public servants are to be smeared, that secret conspiracies explain much of it, and that inexperienced, unqualified candidates are the only ones who can ‘fix’ a completely broken operation characterize the current Republican Presidential campaign, and describe the past two local Republican campaigns as well.
Now, with the next municipal campaign just around the corner, it’s important to note that not one single Woodbridge Republican leader has followed so many nationally prominent and respected Republicans to publicly denounce Donald Trump and his campaign. This fact, and the large margin by which Trump won last spring’s GOP primary in town, makes it clear Woodbridge voters should expect local Republican ‘Trumpism’ to persist next spring as well.