I’ve seen many news reports about the recent fear-mongering, hate speech and violence coming from the rightwing. Partly, it’s just a response to the health bill being passed, but of course it’s much larger as it’s been going on for a while now. On a smaller scale, this trend of militant rhetoric was seen the last time a Democrat was president. The 1990s was a hotbed of rightwing militia groups.
I’ve been closely following this trend in recent years. It certainly was amped up after Obama was elected and it hasn’t slowed down. It just gets worse and worse. If this trend continues, a major attack or assasination attempt is inevitable.
The above video stood out to me in pointing out why this matters. Maddow is a good reporter in general, but she hit the nail on the head here. The part where Pelosi speaks really touched me because I could sense the genuine fear that she was feeling. Maddow asks a very direct question:
“Do you think there is a cavalier attitude about the risks of political violence today? It feels like there are two ways to think about this. Either it doesn’t seem like a real threat to people and so it’s okay to flirt with it or it is a real threat and people are still stoking this ‘use of violence’ rhetoric knowing that that real possibility is there. Which do you think it is?”
Her guest was Cleve Jones who, like Nancy Pelosi, still has fresh memories of the assasination of Harvey Milk. Here is his answer to Maddow’s question:
“I think it is a very frightening, cynical, deliberate attempt to manipulate the fears of many people in our country. And I’m certain that Representative Boehner is old enough to remember, as I remember, how it felt to be an American following the assasination of President Kennedy, how it felt to be an American following the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King. I remember as a child when the cities burned and I remember tanks going down the street in front of my school. Is that the kind of America these people want to lead us into? It is, I think, becoming inevitable that we’re going to see political violence. And that is a terrible thing for everyone in this country regardless of your position on these issues.”