In the middle of a Boston Globe article on the culture of suspicion in the Donald Trump campaign, we discovered a chilling account from a supporter who detailed how he intends to intimidate black and brown voters on election day.
From the Boston Globe:
“Trump said to watch you precincts. I’m going to go, for sure,” said Steve Webb, a 61-year-old carpenter from Fairfield, Ohio.
“I’ll look for . . . well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American,” he said. “I’m going to go right up behind them. I’ll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”
Webb is surely not the only misguided racist who believes that his form of race-based intimidation is somehow performing a “good” on election day, rather than working to suppress the votes of those who might oppose Trump.
For every bit of election day intimidation, Trump’s rhetoric is directly to blame. Multiple times in the election season, Trump has made comments about how he believes that the system is biased against him. He has encouraged his supporters to believe that if he loses on election day, it won’t have been because of his hateful rhetoric or lack-luster support, but rather because the establishment is too afraid of him to let him run the nation. It’s just not true, but that doesn’t matter to his supporters. They want to believe Trump, so they will.
Which is why last week, when Trump told his supporters to head to their polling locations on election day to monitor for fraud, they took him seriously. That’s when people like Webb set their plans – to deliberately intimidate and frighten voters into silence.
Trump has made it clear that he has no interest in Democracy, and his empty-headed supporters are too starry-eyed to see it.