And by tone we mean, in the words of the piece, Trump’s “new low of bigotry, fear-mongering and conspiracy-peddling.” As these things go, the opening included a summary of Trump’s latest:
As the country mourned the wanton slaughter of 49 people early Sunday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee took a victory lap, hinted darkly that President Obama is an enemy of the nation, libeled American Muslims and, in grotesque punctuation, finished up with a vindictive attack on the media.
It continued with some historical context, reminding us of the dark moments in this country’s past when, to quote Lincoln, we have ignored the “better angels of our nature.”
To generalize as Mr. Trump does about “the Muslims” is to set the nation down a dangerous road it has trod, to its eventual regret, in the past: banning Chinese immigrants a century ago, rounding up U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent in the 1940s, expelling “wetbacks” a decade later.
And, in responding to Trump’s action against the Post, a projection into the future:
Mr. Trump capped a day of assaulting fundamental liberal democratic values by announcing he would ban Post reporters from covering his campaign events. If this is his inclination now, imagine how he might wield the powers of the presidency.
This isn’t the first time the paper’s editorial board has warned against a Trump presidency, previously criticizing the candidate’s “breezy willingness to ignore facts and evidence” and his “lies, bigotry, insults, fear-mongering and unreason.” And that last quote was from an editorial not directly about Trump, but a critique published earlier this month of Paul Ryan‘s Trump endorsement. How long ago it seems already.