Literal Political Bombs: A Rundown of the Week's Terrorism

In the past few days, several prominent Democrats and left-leaning public figures have been the recipients of mail-delivered bombs. Billionaire and outspoken liberal George Soros received the first bomb on Monday, followed by bombs sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former CIA director John Brennan, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Representative Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, actor Robert DeNiro, the New York CNN office, Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, James R. Clapper Jr. (former director of national intelligence), and Democratic donor Tom Steyer. The bombs’ return addresses were labeled with the (misspelled) name of Democratic Congresswoman and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Even as isolated incidents, these would be ominous, but in such a short span of time and with uniform packaging indicating one sender, these indicate a much more dangerous threat. It seems that only prominent individuals who speak or have spoken out against President Trump are being targeted, possibly meaning or implying that the sender is a Trump supporter angered by a perceived disrespect of the President.

Should that be the case, one could certainly find plenty of incendiary comments and tweets made by the President that one could interpret as an implicit invitation to attack people. Trump has repeatedly called Democrats liars, the “mainstream media” (meaning left-leaning news outlets) fake and enemies of the American people, and has praised physical violence against journalists. It would not be a far reach to say that one could easily interpret his remarks as permission to attack others or as support for violence. After all, at his rallies, Trump has previously praised his supporters for assaulting protesters. Why shouldn’t a Trump supporter take that to mean he would endorse violence against anyone who is outspokenly against him? Indeed, the Florida man, Cesar Sayoc Jr., who was charged earlier today with five federal crimes including mailing explosives illegally and threatening former presidents is an avid Trump supporter.

Shortly after one of the attempted bombings, Trump made a well-spoken statement denouncing these efforts at violence and encouraging the unification of the country against them. Later, though, he blamed the news media and Democrats for dividing the country and causing conflict, essentially contradicting his own advice. Earlier today, he issued another statement praising law enforcement officers for apprehending and arresting a suspect so quickly, saying that “We must never allow political violence to take root in America.” President Trump, that’s a lovely statement, but political violence has been present in America since its inception; this is more a matter of preventing further violence and dissuading people from attempting violent acts.