Anyone who wonders about the link between hateful threats and actual violence was given something serious and grave to think about this week. Authorities found several pipe bombs delivered to people and organizations that for years have been on the receiving end of a flood of right-wing hate speech.
We don’t know who did this, though authorities suspect all the devices were made by the same person or group. It’s a sad commentary on our times that the motivations could be multiple. Sowing or threatening violence in many places over a short space of time is a classic tactic of
The midterm elections, coming up in less than two weeks, fit this bill. Republican Party efforts at voter suppression have made for a tense climate that President Donald Trump has worsened by insinuating that Democrats, whom he calls an “angry, leftist mob,” may commit voter fraud.
The charge recalls the starring role of hate speech — and repeated allusions to violence — that have characterized Trump as a candidate and President. Who can forget Trump, in 2016, pretending to pull a trigger as he “joked” about “Second Amendment people” acting against Clinton, or elected Republican officials like Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett and New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro calling for her execution?