Admiration for Putin should concern voters
The mystery of why Donald Trump’s supporters were less concerned about Russian intelligence agencies hacking into the Democratic National Committee servers than they were about the content of those emails was clarified with the spectacle of them shouting “lock her up” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. A scene like that was eerily reminiscent of a Stalinist-era purge rally in the former Soviet Union, rather than anything you would have expected from the convention of a major American political party. So while it may be uncertain if Trump’s supporters share his fawning admiration for the Russian autocratic Vladimir Putin, they do seem very enamored with the idea of “locking up” the political opposition as is commonplace under autocratic regimes, past and present.
The 2016 election has been described as a referendum on decency and goodness, but along with that, it appears it’s also a referendum on democracy itself. Do we support a system of government where our leaders are chosen freely by the electorate or do we support the idea of winning elections by imprisoning the political opposition?
Along with that, do we support extending the franchise to all eligible voters, or do we support using every dirty trick in the book to limit the franchise to only selected voters?