Suspected Mail Bombs Sent to Trump’s Critics: His America



The suspected mail bombs, almost all of which were addressed to prominent U.S. Democrats, are the result of a climate of hate fueled by the man at the top: Donald Trump.

“It was just a matter of time”* said former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in the night before Thursday at the TV station CNN. He was referring to the suspected mail bombs (fortunately intercepted in time) that were addressed to several prominent Democrats and one of which even arrived at CNN.

Clapper said out loud what everyone who does not live under a rock thinks. It is not clear yet who sent the suspicious packages and why. However, the political environment in which this occurred is clear. It becomes evident just by looking at the list of targets: Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rep. Maxine Waters, financier George Soros, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan (the package addressed to him was delivered to CNN’s office in New York). What do they have in common?

The answer lies in Donald Trump’s Twitter feed: They are his most prominent targets.


This is Trump’s America. In the year of the most momentous congressional election in generations, the country that has the word “united” in its name is sinking in a cold civil war, torn apart by hate, anger and violence. Not just by verbal violence against minorities, women, vulnerable people, those who think and/or look different, but also increasingly by physical violence.

Mail bombs are a very tangible form of violence, even if they do not explode. Even if they were, as some Trump cohorts are now quick to claim, only bizarre fakes, “false flags” to discredit Trump and motivate left-wing voters.

This is Trump’s America. He began his presidential campaign with a hate-filled tirade against Latinos and Mexicans. Oh well, they would say, he doesn’t mean it. He turned the rest of this campaign into a smear operation against Democrat Hillary Clinton. “Lock her up!” Oh well, they would say, this is just political bluster. When a counter-protester was killed during the violent march of far-right mobs in Charlottesville, he refused to condemn the neo-Nazis’ violence. Oh well, they would say, he is just not that good at expressing himself.

He cherishes the brutal language of the wrestling scene: “I’d like to punch him in the face,” “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, ok. Just knock the hell − I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.” Oh well, they say, he is just joking.

This is Trump’s America, every day, to this day. The media are still his number one enemy, especially CNN. He referred to them as the “enemy of the people,” “treasonous,” “bad, bad people.” Oh, they say, that is just clever rhetoric.

We Are Talking about a Violent Mindset

But it is much more than rhetoric. Trump’s fans take everything he says as scripture. His tweets are their Bible. When he lies (and he lies every day), they believe him. When he mocks his adversaries, they applaud him. They hate whomever he declares to be an enemy: “Lock her up!”

This is not just a matter of violent speech; we are talking about a violent mindset which spreads like an odorless gas until it poisons every last corner of America − from the lectern, from the Oval Office, from the meadow in front of the helicopter where he happily performs in front of the media’s cameras, which he does not hate, but rather loves.

Violence is perfectly fine, he says, as long as it is directed at the Democrats, critics or the media. Recently, while campaigning in Montana, he praised Republican Greg Gianforte, who represents the state in Congress and last year assaulted a reporter from The Guardian, breaking his glasses: “Any guy who can do a body slam … he’s my guy.”

During that same rally, a Trump supporter turned to CNN reporter Jim Acosta and ran his hand across his own throat. That was last week.

It Was Just a Matter of Time.

Of course, it is no longer just Trump. Many feel encouraged to say and do things they might otherwise have just thought about. A Republican in Arizona accused her opponent of “treason,” à la Trump. Others sent emails in which they accused the Democrats of being in cahoots with criminals and terrorists, à la Trump.

Trump, the aspiring autocrat, keeps the masses who love him in a permanent frenzy: They alone, he tells them, are good and everyone else is evil. And those who are evil must be eliminated, politically and (wink) physically.

Political assassinations do not come out of nowhere. They are often preceded by a climate of division and hatred that gradually intensifies, starting out as unnoticeable and then becoming increasingly shameless once the senses are dulled. You just have to skim through America’s history book: John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. It was never just the perpetrator’s fault.

In the evening, Trump stepped in front of his fans in Wisconsin. It was his chance to apologize or at least to de-escalate. He did the opposite. Who did he blame for the mail bombs? His opponents and the media. He did not spare a word for the targets of the presumably deadly packages.

*Editor’s note: The source of this quote, accurately translated, could not be verified.

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