Election Day is fast approaching and it's no surprise that many Americans are ready to put the 2016 campaigns behind them. It has certainly been an unprecedented election season: We saw the first woman nominated as a major party presidential candidate, but also endured the volatile campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump. The Trump campaign has faced scandals over the past few weeks that have weakened the presidential hopeful's chances of winning the Oval Office. As the polls continue to favor Clinton, Trump's ugly rhetoric has turned to talk of a rigged election. The former reality TV star is threatening to not accept the election results if he loses and his most dedicated supporters are promising a political revolution if Clinton is elected. Some of Trump's supporters have even threatened to assassinate Hillary Clinton, proving just how ugly this race has become.
The New York Times published a piece concerning the feeling of unrest among Trump's supporters. In "Some Donald Trump Voters Warn of Revolution if Hillary Clinton Wins," a young man from Green Bay, Wisconsin said he worried there would be another Revolutionary War if Clinton takes office. "People are going to march on the capitols. They're going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there," 25-year-old Jared Halbrook told The Times, warning that if push comes to shove and former Secretary of State Clinton "has to go by any means necessary, it will be done."
While Halbrook's comments are disturbing, they are far from an isolated incident. The Boston Globe spoke with 50-year-old Trump supporter Dan Bowman at one of the Republican nominee's rallies. Bowman plainly told The Globe that he thinks Clinton should be assassinated. "If she's in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot," he said of a possible Clinton presidency. "We're going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that's what it takes. There's going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that's what it's going to take."
Activist Deray Mckesson shared a CNN clip on Twitter that shows another Trump supporter threatening violence if Clinton is elected in November. "Hillary needs to be taken out. If she gets into power, I'll do everything in my power to take her out of power, which if I have to be a patriot, I will." When asked whether he was making a physical threat against Clinton, the Trump supporter responded "I don't know, is it?"
It's not just everyday civilians threatening violence if Clinton takes office, either. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said in a Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. that bloodshed may be needed to "stop the degradation of society" if Clinton is elected, according to Complex. He invoked a Thomas Jefferson quote during his speech, saying "the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
It's eerily similar to the rhetoric of Trump's diehard supporters. When asked whose blood will be shed, Bevin seriously responded that "it may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we, through our apathy and indifference, have given away."
Trump himself is no stranger to making inflammatory remarks about Hillary Clinton. "Hillary wants to abolish- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks," Trump said back in August, "Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know."
Presidential elections should be about exchanging ideas, initiating a national conversation about how we can move ourselves forward as a country, and working to elect a thoughtful, intelligent, qualified candidate into office. This presidential election has been a far cry from that ideal. The assassination threats against Hillary Clinton prove just how far out of hand the ugly rhetoric of the 2016 election has gotten.