News echoed throughout the political world as Republican Congressional candidate George Buck, who is running for Florida’s 13th District, declared that ‘treasonous’ Democrats should be ‘hung’, and named Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as one in particular.
Local and national GOP leaders distanced themselves Wednesday from a Florida congressional candidate who sent a fundraising letter stating that “anti-American radical Democrats” should be hung for treason.
George Buck, one of six Republican primary candidates for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, referred to several Democrats but in particular to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota. Omar was born in Somalia and came to the U.S. as a child.
In the recent letter to potential donors, he said that “we should hang” Omar and other “traitors” for “abusing our system to destroy our country.” He mentioned “tinfoil hat accusations” against President Donald Trump, but didn’t elaborate.
Buck’s letter cited an unverified story that Omar is an asset of a foreign government who passed information to another foreign government. Omar has denied the report, calling it ”outlandishly absurd” in a statement.
“For all their false, tinfoil-hat accusations of President Trump, the Democrats have foreign assets among their most outspoken leadership!” the letter read. “We should hang these traitors where they stand. I have no tolerance for those who are abusing our system to destroy our country.” (source)
Now it is fair to say that the Republican party has distanced themselves from him, and it is also fair to say that the Democrats have used frequently this style of charged language in political debates. It is not something uncommon to the present or past.
What is going to become interesting is the increase in rhetoric as it pertain to a rise in political violence, or at least the potential for it.
Civil relations between opposing political factions had been deteriorating in the US for a long time, with many recounting at the time, the Bush II campaign as some of the worst years yet. That pattern continued to build up and saw a breakthrough with the Trump campaign as a new style of rhetoric became popular. Whereas once politicians were supposed to, at least in theory, maintain a sort of political decorum, all of that was thrown away with Trump, whose bombastic, direct, aggressive, and personal. It was very successful too, and still is successful as a means of grabbing people’s attention and engaging with them.
While the Republicans are using this right now, the Democrats are also taking note of it. It is surprising, but if one assumes that the Democrats want a 2020 Republican victory to ensure an eight-year span of victory from 2024 to 2032, than it will be in the next election after 2020 that one should expect to see this kind of rhetoric that Trump used, but in a liberal context.
This will also trickle down to the local elections, as it appears to be doing in this case in Florida.
But what would happen if a Democrat made a statement like this, especially if a Democrat president was to be in office?
One knows about the open violence of the left wing. Imagine what would happen if statement like this were made. Indeed, as political tensions are continuing to rise, it could incite people to violence.
What I speak of here is a continuation and an intensification of the currently employed strategy of tension. While the US has yet to see serious political violence in modern times, it is not uncommon to her, especially during the early 20th century.
At the very least, any sort of political violence would serve to be a continuation of the “strategy of tension” that has defined American life since at least World War II.
While this particular Republican Congressional Candidate may have been “exceptional” in his statements, he is not as far as most people are becoming, and one should expect language such as this and possibly, acting upon such language to become common in the future.