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Ten Bombs so Far: You Reap the Anger You Sow

Published in ChicagoNow, October 25, 2018

As I am writing this, a total of ten pipe bombs addressed to critics of Donald Trump have been discovered. They were sent to President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden (2), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and by extension to President Bill Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Representative Maxine Waters (2), former CIA Director John Brennan via CNN, actor Robert DeNiro, and philanthropist George Soros. There may be more of them out there. And here is what Donald Trump said at a rally last night:

“As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories.”

This morning, our divider-in-chief tweeted this:

The bombs look like the one pictured at the top of this post, which was sent to the Time Warner Center, home to the CNN New York bureau. It was addressed to John Brennan in the mistaken belief that he worked there.

Thus far, the recipients look like Trump’s enemies list. Of course, we all know of his enmity toward President Obama, whose legacy Trump has made his main mission to destroy. His hatred for Obama goes back to the “birtherism” campaign Trump led against him ten years ago.

Biden had criticized @realdonaldtrump for his rhetoric on minorities, his embrace of Putin, and the separation of families at the Mexican border. Trump replied by calling him a failed presidential candidate, labeling him with the nickname “One-Percent Joe,” and going on to say, “Obama came along and took him off the trash heap and made him vice president. But he never had more than 1 percent.”

Of course, we all know how much Trump hates “Crooked Hillary.” Even two years after defeating her, he still uses her name to stir up chants of “lock her up” by people attending his rallies. And he smirks and beams.

During a tweet storm on September 11, Eric Holder responded to Trump’s taunts that Jeff Sessions was a bad attorney general like Holder had been by saying,

“Really?! My DOJ would and did care. And continue to fight for protections for voting rights, health care, climate, LGBTQ rights, gun safety measures, criminal justice reform. Would stand up to Congressional hacks and for the career people at DOJ.”

That and the fact that he is black puts him on the list.

Similarly, Representative Maxine Waters, a vocal critic of Trump who also happens to be black, has been on the receiving end of The Donald’s wrath. He has repeatedly called her an “extraordinarily low IQ person.” In a tweet on June 25 after Waters defended people who harassed Trump cabinet officials as part of the resistance, Trump issued this veiled threat,

“Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!”

Trump’s enmity for John Brennan is well known. Brennan, former director of the CIA, has been all over cable news criticizing Trump, who stripped him of his security clearance in August. Yesterday, Brennan called Trump’s rhetoric “un-American.” Brennan’s pipe bomb was mailed to CNN, whose chief executive, Trump enemy Jeff Zucker, supposedly disrespected Trump when he ran NBC, which hosted The Apprentice.

You may be wondering how actor Robert DeNiro made the list. DeNiro has been an outspoken critic of Trump, dropping the f-bomb on him at the Tony Awards in June. DeNiro has taunted him, calling him “cadet bone-spurs” in reference to Trump’s five deferrals from serving in the Vietnam War and labeling him “our baby-in-chief.” Of course, while Trump dishes out insults on a regular basis, he can’t take them, especially being called a baby. So, he took time from his busy job as president, right after his summit with Kim Jong Un, to tweet this about the actor,

“Robert De Niro, a very Low IQ individual, has received to (sic) many shots to the head by real boxers in movies. I watched him last night and truly believe he may be ‘punch-drunk.’ I guess he doesn’t realize the economy is the best it’s ever been with employment being at an all time high, and many companies pouring back into our country. Wake up Punchy!”

Finally, there is George Soros, enemy number one of Trump and right wing conspiracists because he has given lots of money to Democrats in recent years. Soros has been blamed for everything from funding the caravans of immigrants to the protestors at the Kavanaugh hearings to the NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to the Parkland student protests to the Women’s March. That’s a lot of work for an 88-year-old Hungarian who escaped the Holocaust to make his fortune on Wall Street and gave generously to promote democracy in former communist countries of eastern Europe. By the early 2000s, Soros’s opposition to George W. Bush earned him the hatred of Fox News and right-wing commentators, which has continued to this day. His son Alexander published this in yesterday’s New York Times

“…something changed in 2016. Before that, the vitriol [my father] faced was largely confined to the extremist fringes, among white supremacists and nationalists who sought to undermine the very foundations of democracy. But with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, things got worse…A genie was let out of the bottle, which may take generations to put back in…It is also all too normal…that political leaders who swear an oath of office to protect all citizens instead pursue politics of division and hate. We must find our way to a new political discourse that shuns the demonization of all political opponents. A first step would be to cast our ballots to reject those politicians cynically responsible for undermining the institutions of our democracy. And we must do it now, before it is too late.”

Yes, there’s the message. We all need to vote in the November 6 mid-term elections. This has gone too far for far too long. It’s not normal and it’s not the media that is to blame for trying to cover the news. It’s the man at the top who sets the tone and must take responsibility for the anger and divisiveness he has encouraged in our country.


by Laurie Levy
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