Well that got out of hand quickly.
Wayne Allyn Root spoke ahead of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a Sunday rally held for Trump in Las Vegas, Nevada. Root was the 2008 Libertarian vice presidential nominee, is the author of the book Angry White Male, and describes himself in his Twitter bio as a “capitalist evangelist.”
His comments to the unsurprisingly hyped up crowd were disturbing to say the least.
In short, Root called for the death of Hillary Clinton and her top aide, Huma Abedin — through utilizing a strange conglomerate of pop culture references, ending with the movie Thelma and Louise, the 1991 film which ends with the two main characters driving off a cliff and meeting their end in a fiery crash.
He said, in part, after beginning by hyping up the crowd with calls for violence in Washington D.C.:
‘It’s Hillary in a White Ford Bronco. She’s got Huma driving and they’re headed for the Mexican border. I have a name for the future TV movie. It’s called Driving Miss Hillary. And the ending, if we all get our wish, is like Thelma and Louise!’
Now, it is tempting for those opposed to such rhetoric and behavior to dismiss the incident at the rally as nothing incredibly consequential. After all, Donald Trump is going to lose, his supporters are going to lose, end of story.
That perspective is misguided for a number of reasons.
First of all, there is absolutely zero guarantee that Donald Trump is going to lose. With under two weeks to go until the election, he is gaining on Hillary Clinton at a significant rate, currently sitting at a just under one in four chance of winning the presidency were the election to be held today.
The race has been shaken to the core by last Friday’s announcement from FBI Director James Comey that new emails had been discovered to prompt his agency’s investigation into Clinton’s usage of a private email server to be revisited.
The scant polling which has been released since then has already begun to show a significant Trump surge.
The second reason why a dismissive attitude towards Root’s rhetoric is out of touch is because it is not as though, should Trump lose, he and his supporters will suddenly no longer be driven by the same kind of seething racism as before and leave the country.
Rather, should Trump lose, the behavior of his supporters such as Root will still be a thorn in the nation’s side.
Watch a clip from the rally, featuring Root’s remarks, below.
Featured Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images