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Republicans normalize political violence in the US – 11/10/2021 – Lúcia Guimarães

It is increasingly difficult to distinguish certain elected members of the Republican Party from supporters of domestic terrorism. On Monday, a Republican Representative from Arizona posted an altered video of a Japanese anime series in which he appears to assassinate Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known by the nickname AOC. After stabbing his colleague to death, the deputy’s avatar in the video uses the same weapons to threaten Joe Biden.

National extremist fame has followed Paul Gosar since six of his nine siblings recorded a video warning of the deputy’s growing radicalization and supporting his opponent in the 2018 campaign. Gosar not only was re-elected, he became one of Donald Trump’s favorite allies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has charged the Republican minority leader for an investigation into Gosar, but AOC, whose routine includes daily death threats, predicts the colleague must remain unpunished. In October, Rolling Stone magazine revealed that Gosar, in the days leading up to the January attack on Capitol Hill, had promised automatic presidential pardon for the invaders.

No one expects the Republican, whose sympathy for neo-Nazi groups is thinly disguised, will fulfill his murderous fantasies. But before being pulled off Twitter and Instagram, Gosar’s video was watched over 3 million times. AOC is one of the biggest death threat targets in Congressional history and uses private security to get around.

Out there

The normalization of violence by the Republican Party worsened after the Capitol invasion. One of the most dangerous activities in the US today is that of election monitor. Office holders are appointed by state governors or legislatures because even national elections are administered by states.

Ever since Trump responded to defeat last November by intimidating election officials in states he lost to Biden, his supporters have made the routines of these public servants hell.

The Reuters news agency interviewed several perpetrators of death threats and found that, in addition to not having been contacted by authorities, they did not fear being identified. Expect impunity.

New revelations about the violence on Capitol Hill and the active participation of Republicans around Trump in the attempted coup d’état have intensified the debate on impunity.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is being challenged for inaction in the case of Steve Bannon, the radical rioter indicted for the crime of defying a subpoena to testify to the Jan. 6 investigating commission. Garland has the law on her side, but seems fearful of being accused of politicizing justice.

What incentive will other witnesses already subpoenaed by the commission have to cooperate if Bannon, already awarded a pardon from Trump, before being tried for another crime — financial fraud — goes unpunished?

The FBI called the Capitol invasion “domestic terrorism.” After 9/11, the word terrorism acquired a cultural force often associated with anti-Islamic sentiment.

The Republican Party has sabotaged efforts to investigate one of the most serious episodes of political violence in the country. Democrats could bring back the discussion of what constitutes terror.

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