Obama: ‘Demonizing’ Politics Will Damage More People

At a campaign event in Nevada on Wednesday, former President Obama warned that the “demonizing” of political opponents may lead to more violent episodes like last week’s assault on Paul Pelosi.

President Obama warned that the growing trend of demonizing political opponents was creating a toxic environment.

Obama: 'Demonizing' Politics Will Damage More People
Obama: ‘Demonizing’ Politics Will Damage More People

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband, Paul, was hit over the head with a hammer early on Friday morning while the Speaker was in Washington, D.C., causing a fracture to the Speaker’s skull.

Obama said he had spoken to Paul Pelosi after the incident and that “he’s going to be OK” during a rally on Tuesday.

More people will be hurt, said the ex-president, if “we create an environment in which elected officials who do not explicitly reject or participate in over-the-top rhetoric simply ignore or make light of that kind of violence,” or if they encourage their supporters to stand outside voting places armed and dressed in tactical gear.

Last month, authorities in Arizona were alarmed when they saw two armed men in tactical gear standing outside a ballot drop box in a strategically important county. They expressed concern that this may constitute unlawful voter intimidation. Republicans have been encouraging their voters who have concerns about the integrity of the next election to act as poll observers.

Although both parties have placed fingers at one another, the assault on Paul Pelosi was condemned by both Democrats and notable Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Many others, including Trump and Musk, have circulated conspiracy theories about the event, while some have made light of it, such as Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake.

At the same time, the incident sparked new concerns about the safety of senators, who have been receiving an increasing number of death threats, according to the United States Capitol Police.

Compared to previous years, the agency’s threat assessment team received a record-breaking 9,625 threats and directions of interest in 2021.

In July, a man attempted to stab Republican New York State Representative Lee Zeldin at a campaign event for governor. This occurred only days after a man was detained near the house of Democratic Washington State Representative Pramila Jayapal for reportedly threatening to murder Jayapal.

 

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