GOP voters are a ‘tinderbox’ that Republican leaders are enflaming with violent rhetoric: analysis

Leaders of the conservative movement in America are echoing Donald Trump by using violent rhetoric to enrage their base, according to a new analysis in The Washington Post.

"During his five-plus years as a politician and president before Jan. 6, 2021, Donald Trump repeatedly and suggestively alluded to the prospect of violence by his supporters. Then it happened. Those supporters took the hint and stormed the U.S. Capitol, intent on overturning a democratic election on the basis of false claims that it had been stolen from them," Aaron Blake wrote.

He noted that Trump was impeached for inciting insurrection.

"Trump was acquitted despite the fact that many high-profile Republicans had preemptively warned Trump's violent rhetoric could one day lead to just such a scene. Despite it all, nearly 10 months after Jan. 6, suggestions of legitimized violence continue to permeate the GOP and the conservative movement. Trump has faded into the background somewhat, thanks to his social-media bans and being out of office, but others have gladly picked up the torch, with almost no pushback from their party leadership," he wrote.

He noted recent comments by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) likening the assault on the Capitol to the Declaration of Independence.

"Greene's comment reflects how some Republicans like her spoke about Jan. 6 beforehand. As The Post reported at the time, several Republicans had compared the situation to 1776 and otherwise suggested the necessity of violence. These were not allusions to peaceful efforts to overturn an election; they were about armed revolution," Blake explained. "But while the fervor understandably died down for a while, you needn't look far to see this kind of rhetoric continuing to rear its ugly head. Trumpian allusions to the prospect and even necessity of political violence and a 1776-esque revolution are coming up with increasing frequency."

Blake also called out rhetoric by Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Louie Gohmert (R-TX). He also listed violent rhetoric by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson and OAN host Pearson Sharp.

"While we should never oversell anecdotes, we probably shouldn't ignore it when an activist earnestly asks a leader of the young conservative movement in public, as one did this week, 'When do we get to use the guns?' Despite the lessons of Jan. 6, key members of the conservative movement are still wandering around that tinderbox with a lit match and nary a fire extinguisher to be found," Blake concluded.