Opponents of President Donald Trump have borrowed a phrase from the president’s own playbook and are now chanting “Lock him up!” at the rallies of his Democratic opponents.
A crowd in Minneapolis gathered to hear from Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders repeatedly belted out the divisive chant over the weekend, according to reports from the scene by Minneapolis Public Radio. This followed similar eruptions when Trump appeared on screen or in person during matches in the World Series last week, as well as at an anti-Trump rally outside Madison Square Garden Saturday night where the president was attending a mixed martial arts fight.
Trump’s own fans adopted the phrase “Lock her up!” in reference to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 match-up. In fact, it popped up again at a rally attended by the president in Mississippi Friday night.
Speaking to a boisterous crowd of several thousand fans at Williams Arena in Minneapolis late Sunday, Sanders, joined by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), said that Trump deserves to be impeached and will be impeached.
“We have a president of the United States who is a pathological liar, who is running the most corrupt administration in history,” Sanders said, one of several points in his speech that prompted the “Lock him up!” rallying cry.
Since Trump popularized the phrase, his detractors have criticized it as dangerous, misogynistic and bordering on “hate speech.” Many in progressive circles are now saying it’s no more acceptable for Democrats to do it than it is for Republicans.
Surprised this needs saying, but: Democrats, do not chant “Lock him up” at political rallies.— Phillip Atiba Goff (@DrPhilGoff) November 4, 2019
More strident anti-Trumpers, however, are saying the commander-in-chief is just getting a taste of his own medicine.
Lock him up! pic.twitter.com/DH8ZLb5yMd— Dennis Petrak (@dennis_petrak) November 4, 2019
Sanders won Minnesota in the 2016 Democratic presidential caucus and in Sunday’s rally called for unity instead of division. “He is trying to divide us up,” he said of Trump. “We are going to bring our people together.”