Experts on violence are projecting that the coming weeks will see an increase in heated political arguments online — including violent right-wing rhetoric about an impending “civil war” — due to the fast-approaching midterms and continued investigations into former President Donald Trump.
Analyses have proven to be very useful. a significant rise in far right violenceThese changes have occurred over the last few years. Much of the right wing’s violent rhetoric has centered around TrumpSome of his loyalists suggested that violence to protect him during an investigation into his removal from the White House of government documents would be justified.
According to a New York Times report, Twitter posts mentioning “civil war” increased by around 3,000 percent in the days after it was reported that the FBI conducted a search on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to retrieve thousands of White House documents, including some that were classified. After the report, social media platforms started to talk more about civil war. President Joe Biden made a speech in September publicly condemning “MAGA Republicans”Who have been threatening democratic norms, institutions.
Far right leaders likely only fuelled the fire. Trump was one example. Falsely claimed Biden had threatened his loyalists through military action.
“If you look at the words and meaning of the awkward and angry Biden speech tonight, he threatened America, including with the possible use of military force,” Trump said. (Biden did not make such threats during his speech.
Other Trump loyalists, including former members of Congress and Republicans in Congress, have also increased their use of violent rhetoric over the past weeks.
“Did you know that a governor can declare war? A governor can declare war,” Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn saidAt a recent rally in Arizona. “And we’re going to probably see that.”
At a campaign event this month that was headlined by Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) alleged that Republicans were the victims of a violent, coordinated campaign being orchestrated by Democrats — a claim that has no basis in fact whatsoever, as none of the violence she described ever occurred.
“I am not going to mince words with you all. Democrats want Republicans dead and they have already started the killings,” Greene claimed.
Some have suggested that right-wing talk of civil war is allegorical, or that it alludes to a “cold” civil war, in which physical violence doesn’t actually take place.
“The question is what does ‘civil war’ look like and what does it mean,” Elizabeth Neumann, a security expert who served as assistant secretary for counterterrorism at the Department of Homeland Security under Trump, said to The New York Times.
But there’s reason to believe that this rhetoric will result in an uptick in violent, physical attacks. Research from the Chicago Project on Security and Threats at the University of Chicago (CPOST) shows that far-right violence is on the rise. Millions of Americans believe violence to reach political ends is sometimes justified.This is especially true when it comes down to defending Trump.
One in 20 U.S. adults, for example, believes that using violence to reinstate the ex-president into the White House midway through Biden’s first term would be justified, according to a survey CPOST conducted last month. This amounts to approximately 13 million Americans. Even more Americans — around 15 million — would support the use of violence to keep Trump from being prosecuted by the Department of Justice, according to the poll.
“We have not just a political threat to our democracy, we have a violent threat to our democracy,” Robert PapeIn a recent interview, CPOST director,.