Eric Trump looks at his father, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, during a caucus night watch party at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on Feb. 23, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty

Eric Trump: President’s detractors are ‘not even people’

Updated

For a guy who’s supposed to be helping lead Donald Trump’s business empire, and steering clear of politics, Eric Trump maintains a surprisingly active political schedule. Eric Trump recently sat down with officials at the Republican National Committee, for example, to discuss ways in which the party could help his father. He also tried to discredit the investigation into the Russia scandal during an ABC News interview this week.

Last night, however, The Hill reports that presidential son took his political rhetoric to a whole new level.

President Trump’s son Eric Trump on Tuesday said Democrats are “not even people” to him after their obstruction of his father’s agenda.

“I’ve never seen hatred like this,” he said on Fox News’s “Hannity” Tuesday night. “To me, they’re not even people. It’s so, so sad. Morality’s just gone, morals have flown out the window and we deserve so much better than this as a country.”

In context, it was a little unclear to me whether Eric Trump was referring specifically to Democrats or just those who protest against the president when he said “they’re not even people,” but either way, the point was roughly the same.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t ordinarily be too interested in random nonsense from Donald Trump’s adult sons, and “Republican says mean thing” is an inherently boring subject.

But I’ll confess the “not even people” line stood out as a rhetorical escalation of sorts.

In late 2015, Rachel had some segments on benchmarks associated with authoritarian political thought, and each had a familiar ring. Authoritarians embrace the legitimacy of violence, stifle dissent, target vulnerable communities, and encourage their followers to blame outsiders for their problems.

But they also like to characterize their opponents as being less than human. It’s this kind of thinking that’s often used to rationalize and justify new restrictions on civil liberties – among other things.

Look, there’s no point in throwing a fit every time Trump or someone close to him says something offensive, and it’d be exhausting to even try. But when the Trump family starts dabbling in accusing some Americans of not even being “people,” while lamenting the absence of “morality,” it’s probably best not to dismiss the rhetoric too quickly.