A Former GOP Congressman Just Encouraged People to Engage in Armed Rebellion if Trump Loses

Election '16

Former GOP Representative Joe Walsh was trending for all the wrong reasons on October 26, after he sent out a tweet encouraging an armed insurrection if Donald Trump loses the presidential election.

"On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump. On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?" tweeted Walsh, who was an Illinois congressman from 2011-2013.

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This isn't the first time Walsh has advocated violence via social media. After three Dallas police officers were killed this summer, Walsh tweeted that a war was beginning and told Obama and "black lives matter punks" to watch out for "Real America." He ultimately deleted that tweet. 

But Walsh's connections to violent acts doesn't stop with Twitter. In 2012, when Walsh was still a member of Congress, he went on an anti-Islam rant at a townhall in Elk Grove Village, Ill. His comments came in response to a man who called for politicians to take a stronger stance against Muslims.

“I’m looking for some godly men and women in the Senate, in the Congress, who will stand in the face of the danger of Islam in America without political correctness,” declared the townhall participant, “Islam is not the peaceful, loving religion we hear about."

Walsh seemingly agreed with the man. “It’s a real threat,” he said, “And it’s a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11.” Walsh then claimed "Radical Islam" had infiltrated the suburbs of Chicago: “It’s in Elk Grove, it’s in Addison, it’s in Elgin. It’s here." Walsh also claimed that Muslims were "trying to kill Americans every week" and that another 9/11 was inevitable.

Days after Walsh's comments there was, indeed, violence in the suburbs of Chicago, but it came from a man named David Conrad, who fired two air rifle shots at a mosque in Morton Grove, Ill. One of the bullets landed inches from the mosque's security guard.

Less than a week after that incident, an attacker flung an acid bomb at a school in the Chicago suburb of Lombard during Ramadan prayers. A short time after the acid attack, a Muslim cemetery in Evergreen Park, Illinois was spray-painted with racial epithets and religious insults.

Shortly after the second attack, in an interview with Raw Story, Council on American-Islamic Relations communications director Ibrahim Hooper said the violence was potentially related to a "well-financed Islamophobia machine." Hooper concluded that:

“Whenever you have people with some measure of respect in society smearing Muslims and Islam, it’s going to have a negative impact in terms of these kinds of incidents. [They should] act responsibly and tone down this anti-Muslim rhetoric. Unfortunately, it seems that Islamophobia is now a plank of the Republican Party’s political platform. It’s really disturbing. When I get a call about another incident of anti-Muslim hatred by an elected official, I don’t even have to ask what party they’re from. It’s always the Republican Party.”

At the time this story was published, Walsh had yet to delete the tweet regarding a potential Trump loss.

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