Trump fanning the flames of lockdown protests makes it likely we’ll see political violence this election season: op-ed
Protesters demanding an end to coronavirus lockdown orders tried to enter the House Chamber in the Michigan state capitol on April 30, 2020, but were blocked by state police. (AFP / JEFF KOWALSKY)

In an op-ed published this Thursday, Bloomberg Opinion editor Francis Wilkinson commented on the armed mob of protesters who descend daily on state capitols around the country, saying that the anger manifested at these protests has been brewing for a long time and President Trump has only fanned the flames.

According to Wilkinson, it's an open question if the U.S. can get through the election season without political violence. "Trump’s politics have always been a self-conscious vector for violence," he writes. "His rhetoric fetishizes physical assaults. Deeds flowed from his words, with local hate crimes rising after his rallies."

"Members of the Michigan Facebook groups shared their fantasies of political violence, first reported by the Detroit Metro Times, amid a deadly pandemic exacerbated by the broken presidency that they themselves helped to install," Wilkinson writes. "Marinated in Fox News and Facebook-facilitated propaganda, they have convinced themselves that a vivid chat about killing the governor is a righteous way to express their frustrations."

Read his full op-ed over at Bloomberg.