Suspicious packages destined for major figures associated with the Democratic Party were uncovered this week, showcasing the threat of political violence in the Trump era.
Explosive devices were sent to the offices of CNN (a frequent punching bag for Trump), the homes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the offices of political donor George Soros and New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo.
“What we saw here today was an effort to terrorize,” said New York City Major Bill de Blasio, “This clearly is an act of terror, attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence.”
These stunning developments have occurred just weeks before the midterm elections and shortly after Trump once again condoned acts of physical violence against journalists and political opponents during a rally in Montana. “Any guy that can do a body slam, he’s my kind of — he’s my guy,” Trump told a crowd of rabid supporters in reference to GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte’s violent assault against Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.
While acts of political terror are committed by individuals and groups across the spectrum, a newly embolden far-right fringe has elevated its use of violent tactics recently. In New York City, the Trump aligned Proud Boys—a group that uses political terror as its chief tactic—freely beat counter protesters without police interference.
Trump’s continued lionization of violence is directly connected to these events. As the GOP continues its campaign to marginalize vulnerable populations, slash Americans’ access to healthcare, and destroy the environment, its only means of attracting support is by appealing to the worst, most violent impulses of its extremist base.