Background Briefing: October 24, 2018
The Obvious Connection Between Trump’s Rhetoric and Right-Wing Violence
We begin with the attempted bombing of George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Brennan and Congresswoman Maxine Walters, all of whom Donald Trump has demonized and singled out for abuse. Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist who studies the spread of conspiracy theories in the media and on the Internet, and political cults who is the author of “Right Wing Populism in America: Too Close to Home” and editor of “Eyes Right! Challenging the Right Wing Backlash”, joins us. We discuss Donald Trump’s responsibility for the emergence of right wing radicals, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who have made their way into the political mainstream clearly emboldened by Trump’s election and presidency to now strut their stuff on the streets of America like the “Proud Boys” did recently in front of the Republican Club in Manhattan. We assess whether efforts underway by Fox News, Limbaugh and the right wing echo chamber to blame the attempted assassinations on a Democratic false flag operation will work, and explore the connection between right wing violence and the hateful rhetoric of a president who makes no attempt to be the president for all Americans. Instead Trump consistently riles up his base with fiery, divisive rhetoric rife full of personal attacks on critics and leading Democratic figures to the extent that it is little wonder one of Trump’s acolytes might be motivated to assassinate someone they see as an enemy of America.
The Possible Motives and the Methods of the Bomber
Then we speak with Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week who joins us to discuss his article at The Week “America has a right wing terrorism problem” and make the obvious connection between Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and the actions of a likely follower of the president who was motivated to blow up the president’s enemies because Trump has cast Democrats and those he has singled out for denigration and demagoguery as enemies of America. We look into the motives and methods of the bomber who may be among the group Trump says he loves “the poorly educated”, because of misspelling on the packages and the fact that John Brennan works for MSNBC, not CNN where a package addressed to him with a pipe bomb inside was intercepted in the mailroom, causing the evacuation of a high-rise building in Manhattan.
Voter Suppression in the Tight Gubernatorial Race in Georgia
Then finally we look into the neck-and-neck gubernatorial race in Georgia that is tied in the polls and examine the recent debate between the Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams and the Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp who is overseeing his own election while brazenly suppressing the votes of likely Democratic voters. Andra Gillespie, a Professor of Political Science at Emory University who worked as an analyst for Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, joins us to discuss why the tape that Rolling Stone obtained incriminating Kemp in discussing voter suppression tactics was not brought up in the debate.