Last Friday, 82-year-old Paul Pelosi was violently attacked at his home in San Francisco. A man broke in and hit him with a hammer.
Paul Pelosi is the husband of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. She was in Washington that day. But this sordid story is not science fiction.
It reflects a world thrown off balance for years by the arrival of Donald Trump in American politics, the subsequent rise of the far right and the anti-vaccine conspiracy during the pandemic.
These movements are communicating vessels. Their common feature: violence, directed verbally and/or physically, in particular against more progressive elected officials and journalists, especially women, from the traditional media.
This violence culminated in the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill. Hundreds of armed rioters, convinced by Trump that the election of Joe Biden was a hoax, sought to overthrow American democracy. Not less.
Several of the rioters shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” “. One of their main targets was Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
The man now accused of assaulting her husband is named David DePape. The media reports that his goal would have been to “find” Nancy Pelosi to “confess” to the “lies” of the Democratic Party.
If she had refused, her intention would have been to “break” his knees. Which, the defendant said, would have forced her to sit in a “wheelchair” to show the world that her “lies” had “consequences.”
No, this is not science fiction. Again, no “wokism”, but the poisonous effect of a hateful anti-democratic ideology.
Multiplied tenfold by social media, this violence in all its forms easily transcends borders, including ours. This resulted in the so-called “freedom convoy”.
We also saw it when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had stones thrown at him during the election campaign. We saw her again when her deputy prime minister was violently threatened by a bulky man.
In Quebec, several candidates, including Liberals Marwah Rizqy and Enrico Ciccone, received death threats during the last election campaign. We had never seen so many candidates surrounded by such a high level of security.
Political violence is nothing new, of course. Let us think, among other things, of the murderous attack of 2012 in the Metropolis, where the victory of the PQ was celebrated in the presence of the new Prime Minister Pauline Marois.
However, some important elements distinguish the current climate. 1) Threats against elected officials are no longer exceptional. 2) In the West, they are part of the rise of an organized ideology, that of the extreme right.
3) Social media gives him an excellent tool for dissemination and recruitment. 4) This is indeed contagious fanaticism. The solutions ?
You are still missing. However, it is already late to act. Even the new super-rich Twitter boss Elon Musk is spreading despicable conspiracy theories against Paul Pelosi.
Like what, everything is in everything …