America has had political crimes, but the new climate exasperated
NEW YORK – NI would not be surprised if before the elections there was the murder of a deputy or a senator: we have gone from telephone threats to physical violence. A few days ago yet another alarm for the climate of political violence now widespread in the United States came from Republican Senator Susan Collins after windows of her house in quiet Bangor, a small town in Maine, were stoned by political vandals.
In Seattle, in front of the home of Pramila Jayapal, the parliamentarian who chairs the caucus of the deputies of the liberal left, a man appeared who, flaunting weapons of war, shouted insults and threats. And Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, flag of the radical left, targeted by threats of all kinds, had to resort to an escort that follows her 24 hours a day and often sleeps in different places.
Nancy Pelosi’s husband hammered into the House of the Speaker of the House in San Francisco, just the latest – and most sensational – spray of a wave that has been growing for some time. The attackers, as in school massacres, are often obsessed, out of their minds. But the problem is the climate that has been created and which pushes them to act.
Polls say that the assault on Congress on January 6, 2021, rather than acting as a salutary shock for US democracywith the Americans who, having reached the brink of the abyss, see the risks and retreat, it has increased the distrust of many citizens’ institutions and normalized the use of political violence. Against all evidence, certified by state officials and largely conservative magistrates, Donald Trump managed to convince a majority of Republicans that the 2020 election was rigged: in the White House there is a usurper.
Hence the threats of political violence – always present in a country that has killed presidents and leaders of the struggles for civil rights, but for some time reduced to a marginal factor – have become daily alarm on two fronts. The first is that of politicians under fire: Capitol Hill police, responsible for congressional security, received nearly 10,000 reports of threats to lawmakers in 2021ten times those of the previous year.
And in 2022 it is no better. Many congressmen and senators are escorted around Washington or the airport, but it is difficult to protect them in their homes scattered in the residential neighborhoods of cities in every corner of America. Especially since in many states it is permissible to go around (and even demonstrate in front of a politician’s house) showing one’s semi-automatic weapons.
The factors that push towards violence are many but it is undeniable that the main one is Trump’s incendiary rhetoricnot only with the spread of the stolen election lie, but also with specific threats: a month ago, attacking the head of Republican senators Mitch McConnell who had approved an economic measure against his opinion, the former president wrote, in characters touts on his Truth Social platform that McConnell has a DEATH WISHa death wish.
The second front, less visible because it is pulverized at the local level but perhaps even more alarming, is that of the threats to scrutineers and those responsible for the electoral systems of the individual districts. and their families. In Pennsylvania alone, the heads of electoral offices in 50 of the 67 counties resigned due to threats received. The risks for the American electoral system in the mid-term vote on November 8, but especially in the 2024 presidential elections, are evident. Mayors, local police and the FBI have raised countless alarms.
According to a recent and extensive survey by the University of California (nine thousand interviews in all states of the Union) 20 percent of Americans consider political violence justified if it changes things. The motivation here is interesting: violence allowed if it allows us to defend the American lifestyle based on the traditions of Western Europe. In short, for nearly 60 million American adults, the defense of the American way of life comes even before the defense of democracy.
October 28, 2022 (change October 28, 2022 | 21:49)
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