An already ugly presidential campaign has descended to a new level — one where the question is no longer whether Donald Trump can be stopped on his march to the GOP presidential nomination, but whether it is possible to contain what he has unleashed across the country.
Violence at Trump’s rallies has escalated sharply, and the reality-show quality of his campaign has taken a more ominous turn in the past few days. On Saturday, a man charged the stage in Dayton, Ohio, and a swarm of Secret Service agents surrounded the Republican front-runner.
The racially tinged anger that has fueled both his political rise, and stoked the opposition to it, has turned into a force unto itself. It has also brought a reckoning from his three remaining rivals for the Republican nomination, who are shedding their fear of provoking Trump and of alienating the raging slice of their party’s base that has claimed him as its leader.
But Trump should not be viewed in isolation or as the product of a single election, President Obama said Saturday at a fundraiser in Dallas.
Obama said those who “feed suspicion about immigrants and Muslims and poor people, and people who aren’t like ‘us,’ and say that the reason that America is in decline is because of ‘those’ people. That didn’t just happen last week. That narrative has been promoted now for years.”