By Michelangelo Signorile
Let it be said right now: Protest, even strident, loud and in-your-face political protest, is not the same as sending bombs to the homes of former presidents in what can only be characterized as assassination attempts.
We’ve already seen some people saying in response to the mail bombs sent to prominent opponents of President Donald Trump that the rhetoric on “both sides” has gotten out of control and everyone needs to tamp it down. These claims have been made not just by GOP hucksters like Sen. Ted Cruz but even by Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Those who promote or engage in violence and assassination attempts should be harshly criticized and certainly brought to justice. But that doesn’t mean all protests and political rhetoric need to be tamped down. Any moral equivalence to nonviolent, passionate protest is an attempt to silence dissent. Trump is already trying to use these frightening terrorist attacks to do that.
Responding to the attempted bombing attacks in a Wisconsin rally Wednesday night, he blamed “all sides” and said we should no longer “compare political opponents to historical villains,” clearly an attempt to halt comparisons of him to dictators and fascists of history.
On Twitter, Trump blamed the media for bringing the violence on itself and others this week, seemingly threatening more violence if outlets don’t stop “false reporting,” a tweet that can be taken as a direct encouragement to the terrorist or terrorists to continue what they’re doing.