We seem to be in the era of political violence, and violent political rhetoric. Political leaders are engaging in openly hateful attacks on their opponents, and even on those they merely see as not agreeing strongly enough, and last January marked an unprecedented attack as the former president’s fans attempted to violently overthrow an election.
Instead of that horrific event convincing everyone to tone down the hate, it seems only to have helped zoom in on a more specific set of targets: anyone and everyone who stands up to Donald Trump. This, of course, includes Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and other Republicans who Trump sees as traitors or “RINOs” for failing to throw their support behind him.
Tuesday morning, Kinzinger shared a series of violent phone messages received by his interns, who he stresses are young, high school and college students, who are considering political careers.
Please be warned, the following audio includes offensive language as well as threats that can be disturbing to hear, and listen with caution.
Threats of violence over politics has increased heavily in the last few years. But the darkness has reached new lows. My new interns made this compilation of recent calls they’ve received while serving in my DC office.
WARNING: this video contains foul & graphic language. pic.twitter.com/yQJvvAHBVV
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 5, 2022
Some of the callers seem to be trying hard to dodge the legal definition of a threat. They say things like, “I hope you naturally die as quick as f***ing possible,” and “I hope somebody like [the capitol police officer who shot Ashli Babbit as she entered through a broken window] kills your nasty mom and your nasty wife. It’s not a threat, it’s a hope.”
Others are explicitly threatening — One man says, “We know where your family is, and we’re gonna get you, you little c***sucker….gonna get your wife, gonna get your kids.” Another call repeats the same sentiment, saying, “We know where you live, we’re coming to your house. We’re gonna get you, boy.” Another includes Liz Cheney (R-WY) in the threat: “We’re gonna get you. Coming to your house, son. Gonna get you and Liz Cheney.”
Still others call on a god to exact their vengeance: “Wrath of the Lord God Almighty come upon you, your health, your family, your home, your livelihood, and I pray, if it be God’s will, that you suffer.” Another wishes both Hell and terminal cancer on Kinzinger.
Others are just vulgar, with a persistent theme of cussing, calling Kinzinger (and sometimes Cheney) things like “motherf***er” and “c***sucker,” but overall, it’s a shocking and horrifying series that should not be a part of politics, no matter how partisan.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com