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Emboldened By Trump, MAGA Escalates Threats Against Public Officials and Others

Emboldened By Trump, MAGA Escalates Threats Against Public Officials and Others

Republicans echoing Trump's election lies are punished

A new report from NBC News detailing the increased violence from Donald Trump’s emboldened supporters focuses on the public officials who have been receiving threats just for doing the jobs they were elected to do. But the targeted harassment from MAGA hasn’t just increased online in the six years since Trump first descended that gold escalator to make the most racist campaign kickoff announcement in history, it’s now spilled over into real life, often with deadly consequences.

In the wake of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict where an entire voting base was essentially given carte blanche to lean into vigilantism when the real law is just too durn slow for them, cancel culture is giving way to revenge culture, where one tweet or one vote can lead to the end of someone’s career. Or someone’s life.

Rep. Paul Gosar was stripped of his committee assignments for tweeting a video re-edited to depict him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but punishment for right-wing domestic terrorism committed against individuals is currently the exception, not the rule. NBC News details the example of Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), who delivered some eerily prescient remarks at the close of Trump’s second impeachment trial in February. Neguse expressed concern about the direction of a nation that weeks earlier witnessed a domestic terrorism attack in its capital. “I fear, like many of you do, that the violence we saw on that terrible day may be just the beginning,” said Rep. Neguse. As an impeachment manager, he had a nationally televised role in prosecuting Trump on a charge that he incited the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. And that made him a target for the same people who perpetrated the violence and vandalism on the Capitol.

 

According to NBC, a suspicious letter was mailed to the congressman’s home that contained a picture of Neguse clipped from The New York Times. An unknown substance, suspected to be feces, marked an “X” over the photo, according to records kept by the police department in Lafayette, Colorado, and obtained by NBC News.

The disturbing incident, which has not been previously reported, was referred to the Capitol Police for investigation and is among the more than 9,000 threats the agency is expected to log this year. It’s also representative of the escalating security risks confronting public officials from the federal and state levels down to local school boards.

One of Neguse’s colleagues from California has also had his share of incidents at the hands of Trump’s base. “I had one person call and say, ‘This is the gun I’m going to use. I’m going to put three bullets in the back of his head,’” Rep. Adam Schiff said last month on MSNBC. “You find yourself feeling uncomfortable sitting next to an open window in your home. And that’s not something I ever thought I would have to think about in this country.”

But it’s not just members of Congress who are openly being threatened by the emboldened MAGA base. As of this writing, I am still being harassed by Rep. Matt Gaetz’s supporters and others from the right because I did this weird thing called telling the truth. Vigilantism is on the rise. They want their Civil War, and there needs to be a better way to protect people who have the audacity to use the internet to express their thoughts and opinion No one should have to lose their life over a tweet, no matter who writes it.

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