Alexandria Ocasio Cortez stood on the house floor and begged his colleagues to take responsibility for sharing a modified animated video showing that Paul Gossar was killing her and attacking Joe Biden.
“Our work here is important. Our example is important. Our service makes sense,” Ocasio Cortez said in a speech last week. “And as leaders of this country, when we instigate violence with portrayals of our colleagues, it falls into the violence of this country.”
House Republican He heard Ocasio Cortez’s ardent plea and responded by shrugging collectively. All but three Republicans blamed Gosar and voted against depriving the Commission of duty, but all Democrats upheld the resolution.
The Gossal case served as the latest data point for alarming trends in American politics. In a year that began with a deadly riot at the US Capitol, lawmakers have seen a surge in the number of threats to them. The Republican’s modest reaction to Gossar’s actions has heightened fears of more potential political violence in the United States in the coming months.
Democrat Jackie Speier, who led the effort to blame Gosar, warned that the Republican’s refusal to hold him accountable could have dangerous consequences.
“In the’manga’, if a member of the House is silent about wanting to kill another member of parliament, you’re instigating violence,” Spire told The Guardian. “And if you instigate violence, it creates violence.”
The cycle is already underway in the parliamentary hall.US Capitol Police report USCP chief Tom Manger said the total number of threats to members is expected to exceed 9,000 this year, while earlier this year there was a 107% increase in threats to members compared to 2020. I am. 2017.
Some of these threats have been clearly visible in the past month. In addition to Gosar’s violent video, 13 Republicans who voted in support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill last month received a threatening message.
Michigan Representative Fred Upton Publicly shared In one such message, he called Republicans “fucking traitors.” “I hope you die. I hope everyone in your fucking family will die,” the man said in a message.
And that kind of threat isn’t just reserved for parliamentarians. Election worker When Board of education members They also say they are receiving a more violent message.according to April survey Commissioned by the Brennan Center for Justice, one in three election managers is worried about safety at work.
Stephen Spaulding, senior adviser to the Common Cause, a government oversight group, described such violent tactics as “a central threat to our democracy.”
“The threat of violence is threatening people to work or uphold their oath of office,” said Spaulding. “When you start putting these violent episodes into the system, it is completely contrary to the way we are supposed to engage in open and fair discussions on policy issues in this country.”
There are already signs that personal safety concerns will leave lawmakers absent. When Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced in September that he would not seek reelection, he said a vote accusing Donald Trump of inciting a riot had affected the lives of his family.
Gonzales Told the New York Times At some point earlier this year, security concerns forced an amorphous police officer to escort him and his family through Cleveland Airport.
“That’s one of the moments you say.’Is this really what I want to have my wife and children taken to the airport when the family travels?'” Gonzales said. Told.
Republicans refused the opportunity to send a message by voting to blame Gosar, even though the threat affected their own caucuses. Instead, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy attacked a condemnation resolution as a “abuse of power” in democracy, and every time the Republicans regained control of the Chamber of Commerce, he told Gosar “a better committee. Proposed to give a “mission”.
“There are a lot of caucuses in the caucuses who are very effective communicators to the right fringe. Detaining them means they attack him, so he actually You can’t detain them, “Spire said. “Kevin McCarthy is pulling him, so it’s better to put a brass ring in his nose.”
Dr. Joanne Freeman, a professor of history at Yale University and author of The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War, said McCarthy’s reaction to Gossar’s actions could encourage similar incidents in the future. I warned.
After all, Freeman said there are other historical examples of lawmakers being rewarded for violent behavior.After Congressman Preston Brooks Was attacked Senator Charles Sumner, who overwhelmed his opposition to slavery in 1856, resigned from the House of Representatives but was soon re-elected by South Carolina voters.
“He will be rewarded for it in several ways, and for that reason there will be others that follow in that model,” Freeman said. “It’s a moment to show that political parties are beyond government, beyond government agencies, and beyond institutional stability.”
Freeman added that the Gossal case could also provide an opportunity to change course in political discourse, acknowledging the possibility of future violence in parliament.
“We are facing extreme contingencies, and in fact things can get worse,” Freeman said. “But it’s also the moment when they can make positive changes during such extreme contingencies where something can happen.”
For Spire, Gosar’s actions helped remind the members how some of her colleagues deviated from their obligations. California State Legislature, Announced her retirement last weekEncouraged fellow members to spit out violent rhetoric to raise money and focus on advancing policies rather than increasing retweets.
“I love this institution. It’s very privileged to serve,” Spire said. “We are given the opportunity to enact legislation to improve the lives of Americans, and that’s what we should do.”
“The Core Threat to Our Democracy”: The Threat of Political Violence Growing Throughout the United States | Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
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