Sadly, the bombs sent to CNN, President Obama and Hillary Clinton should not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the rise of Donald Trump over the past three years. Reported the New York Times today:
Explosive devices were sent to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as to CNN’s offices in New York, sparking an intense investigation on Wednesday into whether a bomber is going after targets that have often been the subject of right-wing ire.
A law enforcement official said the three devices were similar to one found Monday at the home of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and liberal donor.
None of the devices harmed anyone. Law enforcement officials said they were investigating whether all the devices were sent by the same person or persons.
While Trump is not directly responsible for this frightening attack on a former president, a former Secretary of State and the nation's largest left leaning media outlet, his vicious brand of politics most certainly is.
This blatant act of right wing terrorism can be directly traced to president Trump's violent rhetoric: his labeling of major news organizations in America as “the enemy of the people,” his calls to "lock up" Hillary Clinton, and his long campaign questioning President Obama's birthplace and religion.
“Many of you and others across our country have asked after me and my family, and I’m very grateful for that. We are fine, thanks to the men and women of the Secret Service,” said Hillary Clinton in response to the bomb at a campaign event in Miami today.
“It is a troubling time, isn’t it?" she went on. "And it’s a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everything we can do to bring our country together.”
In other words: this is Trump's America, and we are all paying the price for it.
Last week, both Justin Rosario and Bob Cesca published lengthy pieces on the violent rhetoric being used in right wing circles. Here was Bob on Trump's contribution to nation's discourse:
Trump has a lengthy record of not ambiguous metaphors and off-the-shelf political rhetoric (“the war on [blank]”) but outright violent threats and encouragement of the same. Fluffing his Red Hats with talk like this is what he does best.
- Knock the crap out of them!”
- “Maybe he should have been roughed up.”
- “I’ll beat the crap out of you.”
- “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
- “Part of the problem… is nobody wants to hurt each other.”
- “The audience hit back and that’s what we need a little bit more of.”
- “Try not to hurt them.” Oh good! I’m wrong! “If you do, I’ll defend you in court so don’t worry about it.” Never mind.
Not fake news. It’s all on video. Trump isn’t toying around with vague, semi-tough political tropes, he’s flagrantly telling his people to literally accost protesters, which they did on countless occasions.
When the president of the United States is telling his supporters to use violence for political purposes, none of us should be surprised when they do. We don't know who the perpetrator is as of yet, but the pattern is clear: the same device was sent to prominent liberals and liberal organizations that have been targeted specifically by Donald Trump and his supporters.
There are of course psychologically disturbed people on both sides of the political spectrum, and as the Times points out, Trump was apparently sent packages with ricin earlier this month. But this is a matter of proportion, and there is no doubt which side is openly advocating violence, and which side is not. No high ranking Democrat has in any way advocated the use of force against Trump or his supporters. Not one. There is no way any sane person could blame Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or even Hillary Clinton for attempts on Trump's life. And while any physical attacks on the president are despicable, they aren't exactly surprising given Trump's penchant for confrontation and angry rhetoric.
The fact remains that Trump has made the use of force a major rallying cry in the lead up to the midterms, and now we are seeing the terrifying results. The left cannot respond in kind, but Trump must be made to answer for this on November 6th.