Top
Millennium Post

Condemnable and reprehensible

Condemnable and reprehensible

Disagreements in a democracy are always welcome but hate, bitterness, and division manifesting in killing attempts are not. On a forgettable Wednesday that the US will always remember, the targets included, among others, President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, the New York offices of CNN International (because "the media is the enemy of the people") and so many close to the two former Presidents and prominent Democrats. How lethal were the explosives, sent in a packet and intercepted by the Secret Service, is being examined in the laboratories of the FBI. But, interestingly, all individuals that President Trump has been lashing out at in the crucial pre-Mid Term elections have been the targets. When his base supporters raise chants against these individuals, Trump prompts them on. Yet, after the interception of the devices, he called for unity. When his speeches and his attitude have been divisive, how does he talk of "unity"? If instead of working towards a healthy democracy especially before a major election, you incite crowds, Shakespeare's words from Julius Caesar come so true when Mark Anthony says, "Mischief, thou art afoot. Take what course thou wilt." Mischief is, indeed, afoot and the course it is taking is both condemnable and reprehensible. Almost as soon as the bombs arrived in the mail, the debate began: What role does violent political rhetoric have on these real-life acts of violence?

Well, truth be told, a version of this debate has been raging for a while. Witness the reactions to President Trump's recent praise of a congressman for body-slamming a reporter. But the debate has been renewed now, in the wake of the latest developments. The intended recipients all had something in common: They were frequent targets of right-wing criticism. Amid incendiary rhetoric, targets of Trump's words become targets of bombs. News industry executives have repeatedly warned that Trump's reckless attacks against the media are having real-world consequences. On Wednesday, responding to the deadly mailings, Trump said: "threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America." Those words were uttered by the same person who has used harsh rhetoric targeting journalists and political opponents during campaign rallies in an extremely tense and divisive political environment. As reports of suspicious packages piled up on Wednesday, many commentators and political observers urged caution and lamented the rush to judgment that many others were making. Be that as it may, those at the helm of affairs must wake up to the fact that democracy can neither be fiddled with not taken for granted. Only in a country that is fully united can there be healthy debates and a level playing field.

Next Story
Share it