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On Tuesday, the White House sent out a series of press releases that might have looked merely ridiculous if they were coming from the Republican, sorry, Nationalist Party. But stamped over the official White House logo, including delivery via official White House tweet, the over-the-top insistence of “Congressional Democrats Want to Take Money from Hardworking Americans to Fund Failed Socialist Policies” is much less funny. So are the contents, which repeatedly invoke Venezuela as the “model” for Democratic policies and insist that Democrats want to destroy the economy. The longer version goes even further, accusing Democrats of supporting Karl Marx.

The proposed solutions include single-payer systems, high tax rates (“from each according to his ability”), and public policies that hand out much of the Nation’s goods and services “free” of charge (“to each according to his needs”).

The report then goes on to detail the effects of universal health care and a strong social safety net by looking at the most obvious examples “Maoist China, Cuba, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).” The conclusion? Joseph Stalin was bad. So, Americans can’t have health care. Both the Twitter-delivered version and the longer report from the Council of Economic advisers also look at the “Nordic countries” which they insist are not that socialist. And which they dismiss with a single swipe by saying: “Living standards in the Nordic countries are at least 15 percent lower than in the United States.” Which is supported by, no evidence at all. Not so much as a footnote. Which makes it worth noting that the World Economic Forum rates Finland as the highest quality of life in the world, with Denmark coming in at number three, Sweden sixth, Norway in the seventh slot and the US nowhere to be found on the top ten list.

The exaggerated effort to paint attempts to provide Americans with basic health care and some level of protection in an age when companies have gone past the idea of throwing away pensions, to treating workers as benefit-free “contractors,” is even more notable because it comes at the same time that Donald Trump is reaching new levels of unsupported, unhinged rage in his attack on the Democratic Party. As the Washington Post reports, Trump’s “rhetoric has turned increasingly darker” as he has condemned Democrats as monsters out to destroy the economy while encouraging crime.

As “lock ‘er up” rhetoric expands from attacks on Hillary Clinton to include Democrats in general, the threat to both the Democratic Party, and any opposition to Trump, are not a joke.

As the Washington Post reports, Trump’s over-the-top attacks are getting harsher and more frequent. In just the last week, Trump has declared that Democrats want to:

  • Give undocumented immigrants free cars.
  • Turn America “into a giant sanctuary for criminal aliens and the MS-13 killers.”
  • “Impose socialism” on America.
  • Turn America “into another Venezuela.”
  • “Take away your health care.”
  • “Destroy your Second Amendment.”
  • Destroy America’s borders.
  • Turn the nation over to “deadly drugs and ruthless gangs.”
  • Destroy the military.

And of course Trump isn’t just talking about the caravan—the caravan he claims is full of Middle Eastern terrorists and MS-13 gang members—he claims that it was started and backed by the Democrats because Democrats hate America.

Trump: The Democrat Party is openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders and overwhelm our nation. That’s what’s happening. The Democrats have launched an assault on the sovereignty of our country, the security of our nation, and the safety of every single American.

That’s not the kind of rhetoric that’s easily withdrawn following an election. Trump isn’t going to shake hands on November 7 and declare that, aww shucks, it looks like Americans voted for Democrats, so now they need to work together.

Trump has already declared that the Democratic Party isn’t the opposition. It’s the enemy. An enemy that has “launched an assault” on the sovereignty of our country and the safety of citizens. “Lock her up” is the most repeated chant at Trump rallies. Not because locking away the opposition is something Trump would never do, something he believes is beyond the pale or completely unthinkable. Trump’s friends in Russia do it. His friends in the Philippines do it. His friends in Saudi Arabia certainly do it. His friends in North Korea don’t really bother with locking people up.

What’s surprising is how unsurprising that a story like this isn’t found on some marginalized conspiracy site, but is from The Hill.

Trump is setting the stage for a sweeping delegitimization of a House Democratic majority. …

What happens come January, when in the throes of disorganization, the House attempts to organize itself? What if Trump refuses to recognize the election of a House Democratic majority or the selection of a Democratic speaker? There are plenty of “what happens” and “what ifs.” …

He could respond to every investigation and subpoena of lawmakers as acts of an illegitimate and unelected Congress.

Former Democratic representative Steve Israel wrote about those concerns before Trump began his latest round of accelerated attacks. Before Trump started telling his rally crowd that people in California are already rioting against Democratic control. And before Trump flipped the world on its head for this one.

Trump has, step by step, worked to delegitimize not just a Democratic majority in Congress, but the whole idea of opposition. Democrats need to win big in November, because the idea of democratic, small “d,” is at much at stake as the party.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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