Following Trump's Comments, a Surge in Lookups for 'Rubicon'

The word was used on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

The word Rubicon spiked in online lookups on August 10, 2016, following Donald Trump’s insinuation that gun-rights advocates might assassinate Hillary Clinton. The comment drew immediate attention and criticism, including this headline from the web page of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:

'Disqualifying,' 'toxic': Trump crosses rubicon

Rubicon means “a bounding or limiting line,” especially “one that when crossed commits a person irrevocably.” It was the name of a small river in north central Italy that separated Italy and Gaul in Roman times, which was crossed by Julius Caesar against the orders of the government in 49 B.C. The resulting civil war in Rome led to Caesar becoming the undisputed leader of the Roman world—and the end of the Roman Republic. It’s usually capitalized and used in the phase “crossing the Rubicon.” This is not the first time that Rubicon has been used in reference to Donald Trump’s candidacy:

Predictions that Trump had somehow crossed the rubicon by insulting Iowa caucus-goers — via a tweet he later blamed on an intern — haven’t fully panned out in the polling.
—Tierney Sneed,, 29 December 2015

"As a matter of prudence, the Republican Party should also have the ability to reject a leader, no matter how popularly elected, if they are guilty of impropriety or misconduct," Republican strategist Rory Cooper wrote in a post for Medium. "The Rules Committee have it within their power to install a mechanism whereas if a potential nominee crosses a line or embarrasses the party to an extraordinary degree, delegates can vote for an alternative candidate. Many in the party believe Trump has already crossed that Rubicon."
—Diana Pearl, People, 14 June 2016

But the latest — his invitation for America’s widely condemned rival Russia to hack Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton’s emails — has crossed a new political Rubicon.
—Editorial,, 28 July 2016

Trend Watch tracks popular lookups to see what people are talking about. You can always see all Trend Watch articles here.

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