With the horror in France and attempted military coup in Turkey, the turbulent days leading up to the Republican convention were marked by political violence around the globe. Yet, as the Republican Party convenes in Cleveland amid escalating threats to democracy abroad, it is important to also understand the looming threat to our democracy in the United States.

Last week, Esquire magazine’s Charles P. Pierce penned a powerful response to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s latest big lie, the totally unsubstantiated claim that, in the aftermath of the slaughter of police officers in Dallas, “some people” called for a moment of silence for the shooter. Trump also painted a frightening picture of the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests nationwide, saying—without a shred of evidence—“you had 11 cities potentially in a blow-up stage.”

Trump’s statement was shameless racial demagoguery, a violent fantasy that Trump invented, as Pierce wrote, “so his followers can stay afraid and angry at the people he wants them to fear and hate.” Lamenting the moral cowardice of Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (WI) who have cynically legitimized Trump’s authoritarian ways, Pierce added, “This lie was a marching order and the Party of Lincoln is right in step with him, straight into the burning Reichstag of this man’s mind.”

Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.