The bad news is that political violence is on the upswing. And there is a very good chance of a political assassination.
The good news is that I am wrong more often than I am right.
That said, an assassination seems inevitable. Violence by white supremacists is becoming more and more common. According to the ADL anti-Semitic attacks doubled in 2018. Right wing nutjobs have used AR-15s to attack synagogues, churches, mosques.
We saw Nazis marching in Charlottesville chanting Nazi slogans: “The Jews Will Not Replace Us” and “Blood and Soil”. We saw the president of the US refuse to condemn Nazis. We heard him say that there were “good people” involved in those chants. I guess he meant “good Nazis”. That laid out a clear signal to the far right. Violence was acceptable.
At his rallies Mr Trump called for people to be thrown out. He would pay for the defense of anyone who threw out hecklers . If they got violent he would pay their court costs.(Of course he would never pay a debt and wasn’t about to start now, ask Matt Heimbach. He was a Trumpster who was arrested for violence and tried to get Trump to foot the bill. Nice try, sucker).
Talking to New York police, Trump said they should rough up any suspects when they arrested them . Yep. Suspects. Just bang their head on the car when throwing them in the back seat. Rough em up. No trial needed. Violence against a citizen in custody is ok.
The rhetoric coming out of Mr Trump only encourages political violence.
More recently he called the investigation into his corruption an attempted “coup”. Of course, Mueller not only itemized 10 specific instances of obstruction of justice, he also provided information to other jurisdictions to investigate Trump’s financial shenanigans. That was too much for Donald. So, he called legitimate investigations a “coup”. For the record, a “coup” is a violent overthrow of a legitimate leader. By calling this a “coup” he sends a message to his followers that violence is being done to him. He must be defended with violence.
Just last week at a rally he told his supporters that the Democrats supported infanticide. They support killing little infants. Killing babies. He explained quite graphically how a baby is born, picked up and wrapped up nicely, and then a doctor and woman decide to murder it. Should we kill it? Yes, let’s kill it! His Wisconsin followers applauded in approval. Those fools actually believe him. Or pretend to. Which is worse. How can you stop baby killers? Only one way. Kill the killers. Justified. Noble, even.
Since his campaign, aided and abetted by Putin, began in late 2015, Mr Trump has appealed to the most vile and violent elements of society. As more and more of his own crimes are exposed he becomes more and more strident and more and more unhinged. His words call for violence. Sometimes indirectly. Sometimes directly.
This goes beyond the “dirty tricks ” the GOP excels at. As the recent attempt by two Trump dirty tricksters to frame Pete Buttigieg as a rapist. Which was exposed just this week. We know more dirty ticks will follow. That has been part of the GOP playbook since Ronald Reagan and his imaginary “welfare queen” . It’s stock and trade GOP lying.
But the Trump supporters, at least the most wacked out ones, go well beyond dirty tricks. They will do violence. The Coast Guard lieutenant, Christopher Hasson, had a stockpile of weapons and a hit list of politicians to kill. All Democrats. .Presidential candidates. He did web searches to hunt “liberals”. While even Fox News (yes, that Fox News) referred to him as a “domestic terrorist”, the Barr Department of Justice refused to charge him with potential acts of terror. As a result he was allowed to go free pending trial. What message is this sending to other right wing nut jobs?
No condemnation of violence by the president. No appeals to work together or turn down the rhetoric. No calls for observance of the law. Only calling FBI agents “scum”. Purges of the Justice Department.
Democrats running for office WILL be shot. Maybe killed. It is inevitable.
Guns are easy to get. Nutjobs are easy to influence. Mr Trump has said over and over that the Dems are out to get him. They kill babies. They tried to overthrow him in a “coup”. They are “enemies of the people”, like the New York Times. They are out to destroy our leader. How can they be stopped?
It is a very small step for a radicalized supporter to figure out the message. Kill them before they kill our leader. Kill them before they kill more babies. Kill. Protect the fuhrer. His enemies must die.
I do hope I am wrong but it seems inevitable. Democrats running for office will be shot. And Trump will remain silent. The silence of approval.