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Sunday, June 23, 2024
Sunday June 23, 2024
Sunday June 23, 2024

Trump loyalists call for riots and lynchings after guilty verdict

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Following Trump’s conviction for falsifying business records, supporters flood social media with violent threats, echoing january 6 rhetoric

Hardcore followers of Donald Trump are calling for riots, insurrection, and assassination after he was criminally convicted of falsifying business records on Thursday.

A New York jury found the former president guilty on 34 counts of falsifying records to cover up payments to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a conspiracy to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. This verdict sparked outrage among Trump’s supporters, who flooded social media with violent rhetoric.

Republican politicians widely refused to accept the verdict from the Manhattan trial, decrying the process as “rigged,” “corrupt,” “ridiculous,” and “bullshit.” However, messages seen by The Independent and others reported by Reuters revealed that Trump loyalists on right-wing social networks went much further.

“Find the jurors. All of them. Take no prisoners,” wrote one user on a Trump-focused message board. Another user called for lynching, saying, “Just give them the rope. The time for talking has long gone. Let them swing outside the courthouse.”

Protesters gathered outside Trump Tower in New York City on the day of his conviction. Some posts used coded language, such as one which urged “short drops” – that is, execution by hanging – for the people responsible for Trump’s trial. Another user replied with “short walks and long drops,” plus a helicopter emoji – an apparent reference to “death flights” used by right-wing dictators in Argentina and Chile to dispose of dissidents.

One post seen by Reuters claimed that “someone in New York with nothing to lose needs to take care of Merchan,” referring to the judge who oversaw the trial. Another declared, “Time to start capping some lefties.” The overwhelming sentiment from MAGA loyalists is that Trump’s conviction is wholly unjustified and proves that the American political and justice systems are irretrievably rigged.

“One million men (armed) need to go to Washington and hang everyone. That’s the only solution,” said one message quoted by Reuters. The majority of posts seen by The Independent did not preach violence but instead advocated electoral solutions or non-violent civil disobedience. However, calls for extrajudicial murder were not difficult to find.

A thread urging Trump supporters to “LEGALLY destroy the professional lives” of Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, prosecutor Matthew Colangelo, and trial judge Juan Merchan attracted particular scorn. “That’s a lot of unnecessary words to say ‘try and hang’,” replied one user. “All the ghillie suits in America and you want to use the broken and corrupt judicial system. Fuck off,” said another, referring to a type of camouflage suit used by military snipers.

Other responses included “My AR-15 is legal,” “Rope,” and “They have addresses. you know.” Some of the messages found by Reuters were posted on Trump’s own social network, Truth Social, which has rules against violent language. Some of the posts highlighted by the news agency were later removed.

“It’s hard to believe that Reuters, once a respected news service, has fallen so low as to publish such a manipulative, false, defamatory, and transparently stupid article as this one purely out of political spite,” said a spokesperson for Truth Social. Republicans’ comments on the trial and their adoption of Trump’s rhetoric of “rigging” and “corruption” closely mirrored the language of the former president and his allies in the run-up to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Back then, Trump’s team repeatedly claimed without any compelling evidence that the 2020 presidential election had been “rigged” and “stolen.” Many experts and critics of Trump have blamed that rhetoric for the violence of January 6, and some now fear that similar violence could follow from the hush money trial.

“I do think a lot of these folks have been looking for an excuse to maybe mobilize for a while,” terrorism researcher Amy Cooter told Reuters. The potential for unrest remains high, as Trump’s conviction continues to polarize an already deeply divided nation.

Analysis:

The recent guilty verdict against Donald Trump has unleashed a torrent of violent threats and extremist rhetoric from his hardcore supporters. This reaction highlights several critical aspects of contemporary American politics and society.

Politically, Trump’s conviction and the ensuing backlash underscore the deep partisan divide in the United States. Republican politicians and Trump supporters view the trial and verdict as politically motivated and fundamentally unjust. They argue that the judicial system has been weaponized against Trump, reinforcing their belief in a “deep state” conspiracy. This perspective not only delegitimizes the legal process but also fuels further political polarization.

Sociologically, the violent language and calls for insurrection reflect a growing trend of radicalization among certain segments of the American population. The rhetoric seen on right-wing social networks mirrors that which preceded the January 6 Capitol riot, suggesting that perceived injustices against their leader embolden extremist elements. This radicalization poses a significant threat to social stability and public safety, as individuals may be motivated to act on these violent fantasies.

Economically, the fallout from Trump’s conviction could have far-reaching implications. The potential for civil unrest and violence may deter investment and disrupt economic activities, particularly in urban centres like New York City. Businesses may face increased security costs, and the tourism industry could suffer as safety concerns deter visitors. Furthermore, prolonged political instability could undermine consumer confidence and economic growth.

From a local perspective, New York City, where the trial took place, faces immediate risks. The city’s authorities must prepare for potential protests and violence, which could strain law enforcement resources and impact daily life for residents. Additionally, the trial’s outcome and the associated rhetoric may influence local political dynamics, potentially swaying public opinion and voter behaviour in future elections.

Gender and race also play roles in this narrative. The case involves payments to Stormy Daniels, a woman whose interactions with Trump have been highly publicized and scrutinized. The treatment of Daniels and the nature of the allegations highlight issues of gender dynamics and the exploitation of power. Moreover, the language used by Trump’s supporters, including references to lynching, evokes historical racial violence and oppression. This rhetoric not only threatens individuals but also perpetuates a legacy of racial terror that has long plagued the United States.

In conclusion, Trump’s conviction and the subsequent reactions from his supporters reveal the multifaceted impact of this high-profile legal case. Politically, sociologically, and economically, the implications are profound, as the nation grapples with deep-seated divisions and the potential for further unrest. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach that considers the underlying causes of radicalization and seeks to bridge the widening partisan gap.

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