My Last Good Nerve

[Content Note: Incitement of violence.]

Although I shared some of my tweets on Donald Trump having recklessly incited violence against Hillary Clinton yesterday, I've Storified all my tweets for anyone who would like to read the entire thread.

I also have a new piece at BNR: "There's a Name for Trump's Violent Incitement Against Hillary: Stochastic Terrorism."
Donald's point about Hillary was unambiguous.

What he was doing, as explained by feminist law professor and reproductive rights activist David S. Cohen, was engaging in "stochastic terrorism," which is "an obscure and non-legal term" meaning to use "language and other forms of communication 'to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable,'" a sort of incitement well-known among those familiar with anti-choice violence.

Writes Cohen: "Stated differently: Trump puts out the dog-whistle knowing that some dog will hear it, even though he doesn't know which dog."

The sort of diffused threats that are a feature of stochastic terrorism are, unfortunately, extremely familiar to me. As a feminist progressive woman with a public profile, these are the kinds of "not really threats – wink!" I get all the time: Hoping someone else will rape and/or kill me.

Or "warning" me that someone might – if I insist on keeping up my work. Being on the receiving end of those words for more than a decade: I know what Donald meant.

It is chillingly familiar.

...Thus, I have no patience for the aggressive indecency of not receiving and treating Donald's words with the gravity they deserve.

This man openly incited violence against a woman, who also happens to be a presidential candidate – which makes his exhortation possibly criminal, too.

I am, of course, concerned for Hillary. Additionally: This, like every iteration of gross misogyny and threats directed at her publicly, isn't just about Hillary, but about how we treat women culturally.

As I've said many times, I'm not just interested in seeing Hillary treated fairly; I am also deeply motivated by the long-term objective of making public service safe for women, especially women who don't share her privileges.

This is politically important. It is also presently personal. And it is critical to our future: I care about Hillary's safety, and my own safety, and about what we are communicating to every little girl watching this unfold, contemplating her own future.
There is more at the link.

When this campaign began, when Trump's opening salvo was to assert that undocumented immigrants from Mexico are rapists, I said that this man is terrifying; that he is dangerous. Over and over and over and over, I railed and warned against treating Trump like a joke, or a harmless bit of entertainment. And every time, I got pushback on social media (and occasionally in comments), from people who regarded me as a hysteric, a hyperbolic reactionary, a humorless feminist.

It gives me no fucking joy to be a Cassandra. I am not pleased in the slightest to have been unheeded. I don't have any inclination to say, "I told you so," because I wasn't trying to be right; I was trying to get people to pay attention.

I was hardly the only one ringing this alarm bell. And now, here we are, 17 months later, with Trump on the precipice of the US presidency.

"This isn't funny anymore," I see all over social media. Correction, you glib assholes: It was never funny in the first place.

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