Trump’s “Death Wish” Comment to McConnell Encapsulates Political Violence Problem


Former President Donald Trump said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a “death wish” for supporting Democrat-sponsored bills.

Trump wrote the remark on his social media platform Truth Social on Saturday after McConnell voted to prevent the government shutdown, and after he voted in favor of the Electoral Count Act, which was largely a response to the election-counting chaos that transpired on January 6, 2021. Trump’s comment about McConnell encapsulates the trend of violence, and violent speech, that has engulfed American politics in recent years.

The New York Times reported on the increasing number of death threats that members of Congress have faced. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sought a 24-hour security detail after receiving countless death threats; Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) had a man with a semiautomatic weapon show up at her home; Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) window was smashed by a stranger.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a senator or House member were killed,” Sen. Collins said. “What started with abusive phone calls is now translating into active threats of violence and real violence.”

According to the Capitol Police, the number of recorded threats against members of Congress increased more than tenfold in 2021; the number of threats are expected to escalate as the midterm elections approach. 

Since the Capitol breach on January 6, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)—a frequent recipient of Trump’s animosity—spent more on security than any other House Republican. In July, due to the rise in threats to lawmakers, the House sergeant-at-arms announced it would cover the cost of security equipment at Congress members’ homes.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) remarked on the escalation of threats on Twitter: “Threats of violence over politics has increased heavily in the last few years. But the darkness has reached new lows.”

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This violent speech has also extended to election workers; officials expect there to be a workforce shortage, citing safety concerns. Kim Wyman, senior election security lead at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said one in three elections officials and poll workers have quit their positions over fears for their safety.

“People who would normally be poll workers…on Election Day are taking that step back and saying, ‘I don’t know that it’s worth my life,’” said Wyman. 

The midterm elections take place on Tuesday, November 8.





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