Packages containing pipe bombs have been sent to political officials and other notables over the last two days. Nine people including former presidents were addressees of the bomb scares, although the packages were intercepted ahead of any direct contact. These attacks, or scares, have undoubtedly caused some people to look back on the political climate of the last several months. Objectively, people can agree that politics is just below a boil as riots and protests have broken out and civility has all but been thrown out the window.
Mobs have formed around members of the Trump administration forcing them out of restaurants and from showing their faces in the public. Republican lawmakers have also been affected. Groups like Antifa have been encouraged by Democrat lawmakers like Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Senator Cory Booker who said these sort of non-violent, proximity gatherings will send a message.
Some people are attributing President Trump’s verbal jabs at political rivals over social media to some escalation.
In a moment of national duress, President Trump is calling on people to embrace civility and to make amends amid the turmoil.
President Trump: “As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides & 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.” https://t.co/RVjlI4IYSL pic.twitter.com/YmC9rUYCat
— The Hill (@thehill) October 25, 2018
During a campaign rally in Wisconsin, the president said all those in the political realm, especially those on the Left and mainstream media, should cease hyperbolic and aggravating rhetoric.
“Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective. You have to do that,” Trump said, as the BizPac Review reports. “The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine — these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop.”
“No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains, which is done often. We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property,” he continued.
The president also said the media ought to also do what they can to help alleviate political tensions, not wedge them further.
“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. Have to do it.”
President Trump issues forceful rebuke of political violence & calls on media to help set a ‘civil tone’ pic.twitter.com/2yc4VntOWx
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) October 25, 2018
In a tweet on social media, Trump specifically called out mainstream media and said they should cease hyperbolic language in covering him and his administration.
“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump said in a tweet. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”
A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
The moment could be met with reflection, acceptance, or even change — but, it wasn’t.
From Washington Examiner:
In a joint statement Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., condemned President Trump’s reaction to the suspicious packages sent to Democrats throughout the country.
“President Trump’s words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence,” they said, referring to the president’s past rhetoric against his political rivals and the media.
In a joint statement, @NancyPelosi and @SenSchumer say President Trump’s comment on the suspicious packages “rings hollow” in light of his past comments about the media and political opponents. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/OjPK10JRXU
— Sarah D. Wire (@sarahdwire) October 24, 2018
The Washington Examiner also reports that former CIA Director John Brennan took a swipe at Trump over his call for civility.
“Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better,” Brennan posted to Twitter Thursday morning. “BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence.”
Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence. https://t.co/cS5qNiuU7o
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) October 25, 2018
CNN president Jeff Zucker also criticized the president.
“There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media,” Zucker said, per the Washington Examiner. “The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that.”
Breitbart reports CNN contributor April Ryan said Trump was squarely to blame for the bomb scares and increased tensions:
Wednesday on CNN, American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent and CNN contributor April Ryan blamed the rhetoric of President Donald Trump for creating an environment that caused someone to send explosive devices to political and media offices.
Ryan said, “This is tough right now, you know, in the midst of all of this, but the rhetoric that comes out of that White House is not helpful at all. There’s collateral damage, and it has got to stop. And it’s getting worse. And I blame the rhetoric out of that building, out of the White House. It comes from the top, the president of the United States.”