By Jill Abramson
The Guardian (10/25/18)
This week, pipe bombs were sent to prominent Democrats including George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. CNN also received one in the mail. Sadly, none of this was really that shocking. The news had an air of inevitability, being the culmination of what has been a hideously violent time in our political culture. Poison is coursing through the US body politic. Violence permeates political dialogue and sometimes erupts at political events.
The shocking thing is that some of the violence has been endorsed by the president himself.
With FBI investigations just starting, it’s impossible to say whether the perpetrator or perpetrators were rightwing nationalists, but their intended victims suggest the possibility of such markings.
At a rally last week in Missoula, Montana, President Trump celebrated Republican representative, Greg Gianforte, who violently attacked Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last year. Jacobs, who was simply trying to ask a question about health care, was body-slammed and hurt by Gianforte, who won election to the House but later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. At the rally last Thursday, Trump cheered the congressman as a “tough cookie”, and roused his supporters by loudly proclaiming: “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of guy.”
Trump has repeatedly invited his supporters to beat up protesters at his rallies, implying that the protesters bring this on themselves by disrupting him.
Neither the fatal shootings at a newspaper in Maryland nor the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have discouraged the president from blasting journalists as “enemies of the people”. …