The Republican Party and conservative moment have shown a clear “pattern” of political terrorism, a Washington Post columnist argued on Monday.
“American conservatism has a violence problem,” David Leonhardt reported.
The writer offered three recent examples by Republicans.
“The current secretary of energy, Rick Perry, once publicly suggested that the chairman of the Federal Reserve deserved to be beaten up because of his interest rate policy. Greg Gianforte, a member of Congress from Montana, physically assaulted a reporter who asked him a question he didn’t like. President Trump has repeatedly alluded to extrajudicial physical force, including suggesting that his supporters might resort to violence if they didn’t get their way,” Leonhardt reminded.
“The most extreme version of conservatism’s violence problem is the most tragic: the pattern of mass shootings by people espousing right-wing views, sometimes encouraged in online forums,” he wrote.
The numbers are stunning.
“Last year, 39 of the 50 killings committed by political extremists, according to the Anti-Defamation League, were carried out by white supremacists. Another eight were committed by killers with anti-government views,” he explained. “Over the past 10 years, right-wing extremists were responsible for more than 70 percent of extremist-related killings.”
The noted that there was no symmetrical problem on the left.
“Mainstream conservative politicians use the rhetoric of physical violence much more often, starting with the current president of the United States. And right-wing extremists have a culture of violence unlike anything on the left,” he noted. “Its consequences are fatal, again and again.”
Read the full column.