The assault from the far right on former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is not dying down any time soon. The conservative hysteria has now steeped into the younger generation of the conservative movement.
When Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III addressed a group of high school students at Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the young conservatives chanted “Lock her up!” The chant was spurred by a social critique from Sessions on safe spaces on college campuses. The attorney general reacted predictably smirking. “I like this bunch,” Sessions said. “You’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em.”
Sessions continued to feed his out of touch claim that college campuses are creating “a generation of … supercilious snowflakes” by giving college students coloring books and therapy dogs to help them cope with stress. Although Sessions did not mention Clinton by name, Republicans almost in unison believe that Clinton and other liberals are at fault for facilitating this passive aggressive attitude.
The chant “Lock her up” was an overarching theme of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign that the Justice Department was protecting Clinton for political reasons and would not prosecute her. Clinton was accused of collecting donations from foreign governments as a bribe in disguise of donations for the Clinton Foundation.
Sessions himself has come under fire for being slow to indict Clinton, including being publicly criticized by his boss. Trump even expressed his disappointment in the former Alabama senator. Sessions must have mended broken fences with Trump with these nods to the “deplorable,” as Clinton would categorize them.
Peggy Drexler argued in her opinion piece for CNN that this is sending a dangerous message to both the electorate and candidates alike… “The one who’s got the loudest, meanest, deepest voice wins.”
Drexler declares Trump an unworthy champion, stating: “Not only current voters, but also some future ones, have absorbed and adopted the President’s malignant habits of bullying, misogyny and lies.”
But the good news is that this tactic is not sustainable. The wave of female political participants will not allow this vicious smear to have long-term success. The more they attack the stronger their foes become.
At an event in Boston on Thursday, Sessions tried to clear the air about his support of the chant.
“I met with a group of enthusiastic high school students and they spontaneously broke into that chant. I perhaps should’ve taken a moment to advise them of the fact,” Sessions said. “You’re presumed innocent until a case is made.”