We’re in a new era of attacks on political leaders



experts say political violence could “get a lot worse” around November’s elections. Threats of political violence have increased tenfold in the five years after Trump’s election, with 9,625 incidents documented in 2021, a report has claimed. The assailant who broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home on Friday fractured her husband’s skull. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed,” a legislator said. Congressional lawmakers expressed concerns about their safety.




Experts say political violence could “get a lot worse” around November’s elections.


The assailant who broke into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home Friday and fractured her husband’s skull is only the latest in an escalating era of political violence, one largely driven by violence from the far-right.


Ahead of the 2020 election, there was increasing concern about political violence perpetrated by the far-right, fears that cascaded following January 6. Since then, members of Congress, judges, and other public officials have faced pointed threats of violence, often from those espousing extremist ideologies.


That line of thought, and the way it’s disseminated, are key parts of what’s changed about political violence in recent years. The proliferation of social media — and its use by former President Donald Trump, his acolytes, and those with extremist far-right views — has deepened existing polarization. In part, that’s because consistent contact with extremist messaging on those platforms can make individuals more likely to justify immoral actions, research from Nathan Kalmoe and Lilliana Mason has found. All that has contributed to the uptick in violent threats against political leaders. Threats of political violence have increased tenfold in the five years after Trump’s election, with 9,625 incidents documented in 2021, the New York Times reported. Members and election officials of both parties have reported an increase in violent threats and incidents from people who identify as Republicans and Democrats. Congressional lawmakers in particular have expressed concern about their safety. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed,” Susan Collins (R-ME) told the New York Times. “What started with abusive phone calls is now translating into active threats of violence and real violence.” In a May 2021 report, Capitol police said federal lawmakers have experienced a 107 percent increase in threats compared 2020. Those threats have been particularly pointed in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, when rioters — some with zip ties, weapons, and intentions of kidnapping or killing politicians — sought lawmakers out. Pelosi was a particular target, with insurrectionists calling, “Where are you, Nancy?” The attack at Pelosi’s home is one of the most recent attacks on Democrats and democratic values, but it’s certainly not the only example. There are other disturbing incidents, like the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 over the state’s Covid-19 protocols and the series of homemade explosives Trump fan Cesar Sayoc sent to prominent Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Friday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) thanked federal law enforcement for foiling recent threats against his safety.

その考え方、そしてそれが広まっている方法は、近年の政治的暴力について変化したものの重要な部分です。ソーシャルメディアの拡散と、ドナルドトランプ前大統領、彼のアコライト、および過激派の極右の見解を持つ人々によるその使用は、既存の二極化を深めました。部分的には、これらのプラットフォームでの過激派のメッセージと一貫した接触により、個人が不道徳な行動を正当化する可能性が高くなる可能性があるため、ネイサンカルモーとリリアナメイソンが発見したことがわかりました。それはすべて、政治指導者に対する暴力的な脅威の増加に貢献しました。ニューヨークタイムズは、政治的暴力の脅威はトランプの選挙から5年後に10倍に増加し、9,625件の事件が記録されたと報じた。両当事者のメンバーと選挙当局は、共和党員および民主党員と特定した人々からの暴力的な脅威と事件の増加を報告しています。特に議会の議員は、彼らの安全性について懸念を表明しています。 「上院議員や下院議員が殺されても驚かないだろう」とスーザン・コリンズ(R-ME)はニューヨーク・タイムズに語った。 「虐待的な電話で始まったのは、今では暴力と本当の暴力の積極的な脅威に変換されています。」 2021年5月の報告書で、Capitol警察は、連邦議員が2020年と比較して脅威の107%の増加を経験していると述べた。これらの脅威は、1月6日の暴動の結果、ジップネクタイ、武器、意図を持つ一部の脅威が特に指摘されている。政治家を誘nまたは殺害する – 議員を求めた。ペロシは特定の標的であり、反乱主義者は「ナンシーはどこにいるの?」と呼んでいます。ペロシの家での攻撃は、民主党と民主的価値に対する最新の攻撃の1つですが、確かに唯一の例ではありません。 2020年にミシガン州知事のグレッチェン・ホイットマーを州のCovid-19プロトコルと、2018年の中期選挙に先立って著名な民主党に送られた自家製の爆発物のファンであるCesar Seyocが誘nしようとするプロットのような、他の不穏な事件があります。金曜日、エリック・スワルウェル議員(D-CA)は、彼の安全に対する最近の脅威を阻害してくれた連邦法執行機関に感謝した。

A key source of this vitriol is the demonization of one’s political opponents. That makes people already predisposed toward this kind of behavior more likely to act, according to political violence research from Nathan Kalmoe, associate professor of political communication at Louisiana State University, and Lilliana Mason, associate professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University’s SNF Agora Institute.


Demonization makes violence more likely. My book w/ @LilyMasonPhD analyzes extreme partisan vilification (i.e. mechanisms of moral disengagement: threat, evil, inhuman) & its strong link to violent party attitudes. My US Civil War book also shows the same. https://t.co/bMG7aDQyc2 But all things being equal, there’s a reason why politically motivated violence has escalated in recent years, and why it’s usually associated with the right-wing, as Vox’s Zack Beauchamp pointed out last year: Sustained campaigns of political violence don’t happen in a vacuum; they become plausible only when societies are rent by deep and serious cleavages. The GOP’s willingness to play with rhetorical fire — stoking racial resentment, delegitimizing the Democratic Party and the democratic process, and even indulging in naked appeals to violent fantasies — has created an environment that can encourage the outbreak of right-wing violence. This is already doing concrete damage to our democracy: Several Republican legislators have said they would have supported [Trump’s] impeachment if doing so did not pose a threat to their families’ lives.

悪魔化により、暴力はより可能性が高くなります。 @lilymasonphdの私の本は、極端な党派的な中傷(すなわち、道徳的解放のメカニズム:脅威、悪、非人道的)と暴力的な党の態度への強いリンクを分析しています。私の米国内戦の本も同じことを示しています。 https://t.co/bmg7adqyc2しかし、すべてのものが平等であるが、近年政治的に動機付けられた暴力がエスカレートしている理由と、昨年Zack Beauchampが昨年指摘したように、それが通常右翼に関連している理由がある理由があります。政治的暴力の真空では起こりません。彼らは、社会が深く深刻な胸の谷間によって賃貸される場合にのみもっともらしくなります。 GOPが修辞的な火災で遊ぶ意欲は、人種的resを奪い、民主党と民主党のプロセスを非合法化し、暴力的な空想への裸の訴えにふけることさえ – 右翼の暴力の発生を促進できる環境を作り出しました。これはすでに私たちの民主主義に具体的な損害を与えています。いくつかの共和党議員は、そうすることで家族の生活に脅威を与えないなら、彼らは[トランプの]弾eachを支持していたと述べています。

The weeks ahead have particular potential for violence: Violence tends to increase around elections because they represent an intense competition over status and leadership. That’s especially the case when the two sides in the contest have differing views that have been inflamed in culture war. “I think we should be expecting it to get a lot worse, both leading up to and after the midterm elections,” Mason told Vox.


In the 1970s, left-wing groups committed much of the politically motivated violence. Groups like the Weather Underground attacked the headquarters of the State Department, the Pentagon, and the US Capitol. While there have been some notable incidents of left-wing political violence in recent years — such as the California man arrested in June after traveling to Maryland to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the man who shot and gravely wounded Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) — left-wing terror decreased dramatically in the 1980s. In the 1990s, the frequency and lethality of right-wing, separatist, and anti-abortion terror increased, a trend that has continued.

1970年代、左翼グループは政治的に動機付けられた暴力の多くを犯しました。天気地下のようなグループは、国務省、国防総省、米国議会議事堂の本部を攻撃しました。近年、左翼の政治的暴力のいくつかの顕著な事件がありましたが、最高裁判所のブレット・カバノー判事を殺すためにメリーランドに旅行した後に6月に逮捕されたカリフォルニアの男性や、スティーブ・スカリーズ議員を射殺して重傷を負った男などR-LA) – 1980年代には左翼の恐怖が劇的に減少しました。1990年代には、右翼、分離主義者、および中絶反対のテロの頻度と致死性が増加しました。これは続いています。

According to a 2020 briefing from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as well as multiple other sources, far-right terror is currently the most significant ideological threat in the US. As Beauchamp reported, the kind of violence we see today, planned or perpetrated by groups like the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, the Proud Boys, and January 6 rioters is different from terror attacks in previous decades.


Were there to be a ’70s-style sustained terrorist campaign from such militants, the results would likely be deadlier. According to UMD-START, though there were about eight times as many terrorist attacks in the 1970s as between 2010 and 2016, that disparity isn’t reflected in the fatalities (172 versus 140). This is partly the result of tactical choices by the 70s militants themselves, some of whom preferred symbolic bombings of unoccupied buildings over actual killing.


As Mason told Vox, her research shows that people who identify as Democrats or Republicans show about the same levels of tolerance for violence to bring about a political end. “These are regular people in regular communities,” she said. They aren’t necessarily going to commit violence, but approval even of potential violence indicates a change in norms overall — including growing sentiment that political violence isn’t immoral or unjustifiable. Mason and Kalmoe have found one way to end violence is through “leader rhetoric” — that if a trusted leader says the violence needs to stop, those inclined toward violence listen. Leaders on the right, though, are less likely to speak up.


“Even with the Paul Pelosi situation,” Mason told Vox, “They’re saying, ‘This is terrible,’ but no one is saying, ‘Violence is never acceptable.’ The Republican leadership is not condemning violence as a tactic, they’re just saying, ‘Sorry Paul got hurt.’” Even leaders who use ambiguously violent rhetoric — a refusal to denounce violence, or coded language that doesn’t explicitly advocate violence but subtly suggests it — influence people to pursue violent tactics for political ends. Kurt Braddock, an assistant professor of public communication at American University, explained this on Twitter in May. That results in what he calls stochastic terrorism, or violent events which are not individually predictable on their own, but reliably occur due to seeding by a trusted leader. In Mason’s view, this kind of violence goes in cycles — it’s backlash to progress that American society has made on critical social issues like race and gender. However, just because patterns of progress and violence exist, that doesn’t mean that they occur naturally and eventually American politics will just move forward again. Ending these patterns will depend on whether and how Americans decide to participate in democratic institutions — or if we can even come to an understanding about what democracy is. “We’ve kind of lost touch with what is legitimate” in a democracy, Mason said. “The fact that we don’t have the same standards of democratic legitimacy across the two parties means that no rational conversations can occur when there are conflicts over the outcome.”

「ポール・ペロシの状況でさえ、彼らは「これはひどい」と言っているが、「暴力は決して受け入れられない」と言っている。 「申し訳ありませんが、ポールが怪我をしました。」と言っているだけです。」曖昧に暴力的なレトリックを使用するリーダーでさえ – 暴力を非難することを拒否したり、暴力を明示的に擁護していないが、それを微妙に示唆しているコード化された言語 – 人々に政治の暴力的な戦術を追求するように影響を与えます終わり。アメリカ大学のパブリックコミュニケーションの助教授であるカートブラドックは、5月のTwitterでこれを説明しました。その結果、彼は確率論的なテロリズム、またはそれ自体で個別に予測できない暴力的な出来事と呼んでいますが、信頼できる指導者による種まきのために確実に発生します。メイソンの見解では、この種の暴力はサイクルになります。アメリカ社会が人種や性別などの重要な社会問題について進歩したことは反発です。しかし、進歩と暴力のパターンが存在するからといって、それはそれらが自然に発生し、最終的にアメリカの政治が再び前進するという意味ではありません。これらのパターンを終わらせることは、アメリカ人が民主的な制度に参加することを決定するかどうか、どのように決定するかによって、または民主主義が何であるかについて理解することさえできるかどうかに依存します。メイソンは、民主主義における「私たちは合法的なものと一種の接触を失った」と述べた。 「私たちが2つの政党にわたって民主的な正当性の同じ基準を持っていないという事実は、結果をめぐる対立がある場合、合理的な会話が発生しないことを意味します。」