Attack on Pelosi's husband raises fears of escalating US political violence

The hammer attack on Paul Pelosi is the latest in a series of violent and threatening acts as midterm elections loom

The bloody hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House speaker Nancy Pelosi, has sparked growing concerns over political violence in America just weeks before the country's crucial midterm elections.

Paul Pelosi with his wife Nancy at a mass presided over by Pope Francis in Rome in June. The speaker's office said a motive for the attack was being investigated. Paul Pelosi, husband of Nancy Pelosi, in hospital with skull fracture after attack.

The attack - by someone who reportedly entered the Democratic leader's home specifically to look for him - comes amid an alarming increase in rhetoric and threats of violence targeting US lawmakers.

As Americans prepare to go to the polls on November 8, many experts and observers have warned of the dangers of acts of political violence. The election has taken place in an atmosphere of conspiracy and intimidation amid widespread right-wing claims of voter fraud and persistent accusations without evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.

Assailant Paul Pelosi has reportedly posted on social media many far-right conspiracy theories surrounding the election, as well as other issues such as big technology and the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to police, a suspect identified as David DePape, 42, broke into Pelosi's home in San Francisco and beat her husband with a hammer until officers disarmed him. The suspect now faces a number of charges, including attempted murder and assault with a lethal weapon. Pelosi was taken to a nearby hospital, and the speaker's office said she was expected to make a full recovery.

CNN has reported that the attacker appeared to be targeting the speaker, who was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack. The suspect reportedly entered his home shouting, "Where's Nancy, where's Nancy?"

The attack marked the latest in a series of incidents involving threats of violence against American lawmakers, judges and political candidates.

In June, a gun-wielding man was arrested outside the home of chief justice Brett Kavanaugh after threatening to kill him. A month later, Seattle police responded to a call about a man standing outside Pramila Jayapal's home and shouting death threats and racial slurs at progressive congressmen. A few days after that, New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked at a campaign event, when a man with a sharp weapon attacked him.

Jayapal considered the attack on Pelosi's husband, saying on Twitter, “My heart breaks for @SpeakerPelosi and Paul Pelosi, and for our entire country. This violence is terrible. Our prayers are with them both and their families."

US Capitol Police have reported an overall increase in the number of threats against members of Congress since the deadly January 6 uprising last year.

According to USCP data, officers tracked 9,625 threats and directions of interest (meaning regarding actions or statements) against members of Congress in 2021, compared with 3,939 similar cases in 2017. House sergeants have responded to this alarming trend by turning in lawmakers. up to $10,000 to increase security in their homes.

While Democratic and Republican lawmakers have faced a number of threats in recent months, the increase has been uneven across the political spectrum. According to a study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League, right-wing extremists have committed about 75% of the 450 political murders that have occurred in the US over the past decade, compared with 4% attributed to left-wing extremists.

The January 6 uprising, perpetrated by a group of Donald Trump supporters seeking to interfere with the certification of Joe Biden's election victory, provided a vivid example of the dangers of right-wing extremism. A bipartisan Senate report released in June concluded that seven people had died in connection with the uprising.

The words of the man who attacked Pelosi's husband on Friday echo those of the January 6 rebels. One man who participated in the Capitol raid was recorded as saying, “Where are you, Nancy? We're looking for you."

The attack on Pelosi's husband prompted calls for Republican lawmakers to condemn the use of threats and violence against political opponents. One of the calls came from Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the House election committee investigating Jan. 6 whose family had received death threats for his work with the panel.

"This morning's horrific attack on Paul Pelosi by a man obsessed with election conspiracies is a dangerous reality pushed by some members of my own party," Kinzinger said on Twitter. “This should be condemned by every Member of Congress [and] candidate. Now."

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form