Republicans, Inspired by Trump, Increasingly Invoke Violence against Opponents

//And God forbid that any GA Republican would buck the trend//

A Republican group is running a TV commercial that begins with a photo of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bursting into flames, followed by a black-and-white image of skulls lined up on the ground.

The Republican political action committee that paid for the ad, New Faces GOP, explained it was warning against socialism by invoking the murderous Khmer Rouge movement in Cambodia.  (Yes, that’s how they explained it). The commercial aired during the Democratic primary debate on Thursday, September 12.

The commercial features Elizabeth Heng, a California Republican who, in a run for the U.S. House in 2018, lost to the Democrat by 15 percentage points. “This is the face of socialism,” Ms. Heng says, as Ocasio-Cortez’s photo burns. She adds: “Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism?” as the photo of skulls in a Khmer Rouge death camp is displayed.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York lawmaker, is one of four first-term congresswomen  President Trump unleashed a racist attack against by telling them to “go back where you came from.”

Voices across the country criticized the commercial as promoting violence and condemned ABC for running it.

A Catholic nun wrote that the commercial was “beyond the pale, and said she was shocked that ABC would run an ad with “horrific images” during the Democratic debate.

This was the second time in less than a week that some Republican had invoked violence against Democrats. A Texas Republican state lawmaker Tweeted after the presidential debate that his “AR is ready” for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), the Democratic presidential candidate who had said during the debate, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s.”

Twitter took down the tweet from Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain for violating its rules against making violent threats.

These recent threats of violence confirm the fascist leanings of the Republican Party that have become more pronounced under Trump.

  • Trump, himself, incited his followers to violence several times during the 2016 campaign. After becoming President, he praised neo-fascist demonstrators in Charlottesville marching in a Nazi-inspired torch light demonstration chanting anti-Semitic slogans. One of the right-wing extremists drove his car into a group of people protesting the marchers, killing a young woman.
  • Trump talks about Hispanic migrants the way Hitler talked about the Jews and rabid segregationists talked about blacks.
  • Lying is a staple of Trump’s public discourse, as it was for fascists and Nazis and for Republican McCarthyites. One of Trump’s heroes and mentors in his youth was Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s chief aide.

The Republican agenda increasingly follows the playbook of the European fascists of the 1930s.


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