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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The separated children fiasco has triggered an outpouring of spontaneous anger and recriminations not seen since President Trump's Muslim travel ban just after his inauguration, or the racist Charlottesville clashes last summer.

The big picture: As President Trump's tactics are emulated by his supporters, and adopted by his opponents, we're seeing a great unraveling — an outpouring of the emotional and the absurd.

The kids were the catalyst:

  • "A rally at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection station [in McAllen, Texas] took a swift turn when hundreds of protesters saw a bus arriving with child migrants — and they blocked its passage," the Dallas Morning News reports.
  • "'Set them free!' the demonstrators chanted, as police arrived to disperse the crowd."
  • "Hundreds of people rallied near a Homestead, Florida, facility where immigrant children are being held. Demonstrators marched in San Diego carrying signs reading 'Free the Kids' and 'Keep Families Together' and in other California cities." (AP)

But the coarseness of the moment has extended beyond their plight:

  • Sarah Sanders tweeted yesterday that she "was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left." The restaurant's owner told the WashPost: "This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”
  • Sanders' father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, was criticized after his racist tweet of a photo of five men flashing gang signs that he captioned: "Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House."
  • Earlier in the week, protesters shouted "Shame!" at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as she dined at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, Todd English's MXDC Cocina Mexicana. (Video.)
  • At the Tony Awards earlier this month, Robert De Niro got a standing ovation for saying onstage at Radio City Music Hall: "F@#$ Trump."

Be smart: Trump’s way — the lying, the name-calling, the nastiness — is quickly becoming the American way for many of his friends and foes. This, in turn, numbs people to the truly outrageous, and hardens the tribal instincts of political combatants. This will get worse before it gets better. 

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

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Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

4 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.