Incendiary Speech That Spurs Violence is Rising in US, But Tools Exist to Shrink It

DSP’s Executive Director Susan Benesch tackles the rise in violent rhetoric in the US and presents tools to counter its spread, in her latest op ed for Just Security.

The attack on Paul Pelosi was no surprise, if you were following far-right rhetoric in the United States, except for the hammer. In American vigilante fantasies and actual attacks by far-right extremists, a lone man usually brings powerful, frightening opponents to heel with a gun.

Attacker David DePape’s thoughts – from what he told Paul Pelosi, the police, and his longtime employer Frank Ciccarelli – are otherwise typical. Reading commentators like Tim Pool and Glenn Beck, DePape gradually turned from an innocuous loner into a man who sawDemocratic leaders as such dangerous, malevolent monsters that he smashed his way into the Pelosis’ home. He wanted to make an example of the Speaker by breaking her kneecaps to terrify her colleagues, and that was only the start. He told her husband that “we’ve got to take them all out.”

Such rhetoric has recently ballooned in American discourse, not only, but overwhelmingly, on the right. Continue reading here.