The end of the 2010 election cycle began to descend into chaos as violence broke out all over the campaign trail. Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle was advocating taking “second amendment remedies” if the wrong candidates were elected, advocates for opposing parties were stomped on the head by paid political staff, and threats to actual candidates and politicians abounded.
After the assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January of 2011, however, a large portion of the violent rhetoric disappeared. But as election politics begin to get into swing again, the “second amendment remedies” talk is returning.
It started just a few months ago, when Oklahoma Republican John Sullivan claimed the only way to get the Ryan Budget passed is if a few Democrats were killed. But now it’s once more left the legislature and is spreading to the campaign trail.
A Virginia Republican party newsletter is calling for “armed revolution” if President Barack Obama is reelected, saying he is an “ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized,” and claiming that,” [W]e shall not have any coarse [sic] but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November. This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.”
The party claims they don’t endorse the idea themselves, and that the author’s opinions are just his own. But it’s not as if this is the only example.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill is in a highly watched race to keep her seat, and Republicans are trying to do everything they can to get her defeated. But one Tea Party activist has said they need to go even farther, and “Kill The Claire Bear.”
“We have to kill the Claire Bear ladies and gentlemen,” GOP activist Scott Boston said at a rally. “She walks around like she’s some sort of Rainbow Brite Care Bear or something but really she’s an evil monster.”
Boston claims he didn’t mean it literally, he only meant that it was time to end her political persona. But it was seen as enough of a threat to garner extra security for the Democratic Senator, and to get even some Republican candidates to condemn the words. Potential GOP nominee John Brunner said, “This type of rhetoric is unconscionable and I reject this kind of politics. Comments like these have no place in this U.S. Senate campaign, or any other campaign in this country, because they don’t represent American values.”
Whenever this type of comment occurs, the instigator always says he or she didn’t mean it. And whenever real violence breaks out, it’s always a “lone wolf” who didn’t represent the rest of the group.
When are two and two finally going to be put together and we can admit that this rhetoric fans the flames that eventually become the real threats? With 6 months until election day, let’s hope it’s soon.
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