New analysis explains the problematic nature of Trump's violent rhetoric

New analysis explains the problematic nature of Trump's violent rhetoric
Former President Donald Trump speaking at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections," hosted by Turning Point Action at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, Gage Skidmore

A new analysis is breaking down the potential problems that could arise due to former President Donald Trump's violent rhetoric.

In a new piece published by CNN, White House reporter Stephen Collinson began by explaining the trend that started in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. "The lesson of January 6, 2021, is that when extremism, conspiracies, and incitement reach a boiling point, they seek an outlet," Collinson wrote.

"That recent history is loudly echoing amid a deepening sense that the country could be heading back to a dark political place as another Election Day looms. And sadly, in a such a toxic age, another violent eruption cannot be ruled out."

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According to Collinson, Trump has an angle when it comes to getting the reaction he desires when circumstances are unfavorable to his agenda.

"Trump’s political model remains rooted in igniting anger among his supporters," Collinson wrote. "The more outrageous his comments, the more that the ex-President and his supporters show disdain for Washington elites and the rules and conventions that constrain the presidency and government institutions"

"His political self-image emulates the militarism and brashness of foreign strongmen," he added. "And in a sense, his refusal to temper his political speech, even at the risk of endangering others, demonstrates yet again his power over a party that largely refuses to rebuke him, however extreme he becomes."

Collinson also expressed concern about the vast majority of Republican lawmakers refusing to push back against Trump.

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He pointed to a Wall Street Journal editorial published on Monday, October 3 as an example of the problem. That piece noted lawmakers' silence on Trump's latest attack leveled at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“The ‘death wish’ rhetoric is ugly even by Mr. Trump’s standards and deserves to be condemned. Mr. Trump’s apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish, but that isn’t what he wrote,” the news outlet said. “It’s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell.”

Collinson acknowledged that the violent rhetoric could come from both sides but he also highlighted the distinct difference in Trump's case. "Violent rhetoric can be bipartisan," he wrote, adding, "But there is little doubt that Trump’s behavior has contributed to an increasingly volatile political culture.

"Long before the Capitol insurrection, the ex-President injected a bullying and brutal tone in his campaign rhetoric. Month by month, Trump built an impression that violence was a legitimate tool of expressing political grievances – a process that came to a head on January 6 – and further eroded the idea that Americans’ differences should be settled at the ballot box rather than through violent action."

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