We Asked Trump Voters, “How Should Hillary Clinton Be Punished?” Their Answers Were Amazing.

“Treason is punishable by death. It’s in our Constitution.”


On the second night of the Republican convention, Gov. Chris Christie assailed Hillary Clinton in a speech that resembled a mock trial for a long list of her supposed misdeeds, including Benghazi and her handling of emails at the State Department. During prime time at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Christie presented his “bill of indictment” to a raucous crowd that enthusiastically chanted “guilty!” and broke into chants of “Lock her up!”

“We’re going to present the facts to you, as a jury of her peers, both in this hall and in living rooms around our nation,” Christie said. “We didn’t disqualify Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States. The facts of her life and career disqualify her.”

The next morning, it seemed, the ante was raised, when news broke that Al Baldasaro, a prominent Trump supporter who advises the campaign on veterans’ issues, had said on a radio show that Clinton deserves to “be put in the firing line and shot for treason.” Baldasaro spoke at numerous Trump rallies during the primary campaign, and Trump once praised him as “my favorite vet.” (Trump’s onetime butler recently called for killing President Barack Obama.)

I wanted to find out how deep the sentiment to jail Hillary—or do worse—ran among die-hard Trump supporters gathering at events outside the convention hall. So I took to the streets to produce the video above.

For some, execution was on the table. “She’s extremely corrupt, she’s extremely dangerous,” said Rhonda Welsch, a 55-year-old food and beverage worker at a Hawaii resort. “I think that’s what she deserves: the death penalty.”

This is the third video in our series about Trump voters in Cleveland. Check out the video where I asked Trump voters, “When did America stop being great?” and the video recording their reactions to Melania Trump’s plagiarism scandal.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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