The GOP Has Become the Party of Violence

by | Nov 29, 2022 | Opinions & Commentary

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) poses with his heavily armed family in a photo he posted to Twitter.

The GOP Has Become the Party of Violence

by | Nov 29, 2022 | Opinions & Commentary

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) poses with his heavily armed family in a photo he posted to Twitter.
The GOP’s gun-flaunting ads, apocalyptic messaging, and demonization of opponents are steering its followers toward bloodshed.

A MAGA “patriot” broke into the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in order to kidnap her, break her kneecaps, and perhaps beat her to death with a hammer.

When he didn’t find her, he fractured the skull of her 82-year-old husband. “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” the attacker demanded of Pelosi’s husband, echoing the chant of the January 6 insurrectionists who sought to lynch Pelosi.

Echoing him, Republican Marjorie Taylor Green “liked” a Facebook comment that “a bullet to the head would be quicker” than removing Pelosi through elections.

Republicans have devoted $40 million to ads that demonize Nancy Pelosi in terms far beyond political disagreement. Little wonder someone took these attacks seriously and sought to kill her.

Republican leaders are responding with more conspiracy theories or, at best, feeble denunciations. “There’s no place for violence,” said the Republican governors of Virginia and Maryland.

In reality, the GOP has plenty of room for violence. Indeed, Trump’s Republican Party has become the party of violence, glorifying and benefiting from threats, intimidation, and force.

Violent groups like the Proud Boys were among Trump’s most reliable storm troopers at the Capitol insurrection. Heavily armed racist “militias” act as armed auxiliaries for state Republican Parties, seeking to intimidate legislators, election officials, and voters with armed demonstrations.

Republican leaders denounce Democrats as enemies of the people who hate and want to destroy America. They deride Democrats as “radical” leftists, opponents of God and Christianity, and even as pedophiles and child traffickers who promote the “grooming” of children for sexual abuse.

By early 2021, a majority of Republican voters believed “The traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.” More than a third believed “it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government.” Almost one in five Republican men consider violence justifiable “right now.”

Since 2017, when Trump took office, threats against members of Congress have increased tenfold. And actual incidents of far-right terrorist activities have skyrocketed.

Armed MAGA protestors picketed the homes of secretaries of state who declined to overturn voting results after 2020 — some even broke into the homes of officials’ relatives and threatened sexual violence. Still others tried to make a “citizen’s arrest” of election workers.

Those who administer elections have endured two years of terroristic threats from Trump supporters (“you and your family will be killed very slowly,” one said), and many have resigned.

The Republican Party is central to these developments. The Republican National Committee calls the murderous January 6 insurrection “legitimate political discourse” and decries any investigation of the assault as the “persecution of ordinary citizens.”

Meanwhile Republican candidates glorify and model the political use of guns. Hundreds of Republican ads feature candidates brandishing and shooting assault weapons, with one declaring “open season” on opponents and dedicating AR-15s to the “fight against tyranny and evil.”

Of course, the GOP also has nonviolent plans to thwart the will of the people should voters reject them, such as electing secretaries of state prepared to refuse to certify outcomes they don’t like. But such efforts may well be augmented by guns.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln wrote: “Among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet.” Today’s Republican Party is dedicated to proving Abe wrong.

Republished with permission from OtherWords, by Mitchell Zimmerman

OtherWords — Institute for Policy Studies

OtherWords — Institute for Policy Studies

OtherWords is a free editorial service published by the Institute for Policy Studies. Each week, we publish a package of op-eds and columns, plus an original cartoon, and distribute them to readers, editors, and publishers through our website and newsletter. Each year, hundreds of newspapers and websites reaching millions of readers use this work.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Related Articles

Feb 04 2023

Fear, Terror and Paranoia: Understanding the Mindset of the Far-Right

The paranoia-terror coffee klatch of the far-right thinks every random thought is a “fact.” And by this they tip their hand as to their real mindset—they...
grayscale photography of a man standing in front of a Jesus graffiti
Feb 04 2023

Michael Bounces on Jesus: A Heavenly Parable

Michael dies. Michael goes to Heaven and meets Jesus. Michael reality-checks Jesus…
Feb 02 2023

The Ambition of Ron DeSantis: Big Brother, Fahrenheit 451 or Both?

Ron DeSantis has pushed for a curriculum that whitewashes—irony intended—the vast history of oppression of black members of American society throughout our...
Feb 01 2023

A Reality Check on the GOP Promise to Balance the Federal Budget

A quick look back at how we briefly balanced the budget twenty years ago, along with how much has changed, shows that Republicans are unlikely to manage a similar...
Jan 30 2023

Yes, White Supremacy Killed Tyre Nichols

When black officers pulled Tyre Nichols over, they did so as representatives of a faulty apparatus, one that has for decades perpetuated the message that black people...
Jan 28 2023

Old-Timey Yellow Journalism Is Alive and Well at FOX “News”

We generally think of yellow journalism as a revenue driver, with click bait titles, loosely-researched or fully fabricated facts presented as gospel. But the same...
Jan 27 2023

Trump’s Return to Facebook and Twitter Might Be More His Problem Than Ours

Perhaps the more important fact about Trump’s anticipated return to Twitter and Facebook is that he now owns a competing social media platform. The implications...
Jan 22 2023

A Review of Today’s Republican Party: Bring in the Malignant Clowns

The Republican Party’s dubious hallmark is willed stupidity super-glued to shameless hypocrisy: They want to cut a bedrock social programs despite the fact that...
Jan 20 2023

An Open Letter to the Department of Justice: Act Now to Remove Insurrectionists from Congress

The very ability of our government to function on our behalf is being held hostage by insurrectionists in Congress and the ransom is unacceptable. Where is the...
Jan 15 2023

Transfer of Power: The Constitutional Crisis of 1801

As a country, we don’t remember what happened 222 years ago, because we tend not to remember history. But also because that political storm “rolled harmlessly away.”...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This