Threats against nurses, school boards rage on as mainstream GOP stands by | Jay S. Bookman
A few months earlier, at the very spot in the Capitol where Toomey and Kemp stood, Gabe Sterling of the Georgia secretary of state’s office had been far more courageous. State and local elections workers were being threatened, harassed and intimidated by people who bought into false claims by Donald Trump that the election had been stolen from him, Sterling said, and it was up to leaders to intervene.
You could argue that this is only the lunatic fringe of the GOP, but we have seen too many times how yesterday’s GOP lunatic fringe becomes tomorrow’s GOP mainstream.
“You need to step up and say this … stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence,” Sterling said, addressing Trump directly. “Someone’s going to get hurt, someone’s going to get shot, someone’s going to get killed, and it’s not right.”
As we know, Trump did not condemn the violence, and people did get killed.
We’re also seeing similar threats of violence directed at school boards around the country, both over mask mandates and the manufactured controversy over “critical race theory.” Again, the idea seems to be that what cannot be won at the ballot box or through debate can and should be won through physical intimidation, even violence.
In Pennsylvania, to cite just one of many examples, a GOP candidate for county executive was caught on video bragging that he would confront the local school board over its mask mandate not with facts or data, but with “20 strong men.”
“I’m going to speak to the school board, and I’m going to give them an option: They can leave or they can be removed,” Steve Lynch, the Republican candidate for Northampton County executive, said during a recent rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
“I’m going in there with 20 strong men, I’m going to speak to the school board and I’m going to give them an option. They can leave or they can be removed ” said Steve Lynch who is running for PA Governor, “Make men men again”, he said during Freedom Rally today. pic.twitter.com/PunzV59AMg
— Scootercaster (@ScooterCasterNY) August 30, 2021
Not surprisingly, Lynch is a Trump supporter who attended the January 6 rally that ended in an assault on our nation’s Capitol. Instead of an act of shame, that attempted coup is increasingly being described by Republicans such as U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., as an heroic act of patriotism, with the attackers cast as champions of freedom.
In North Carolina over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., told a campaign rally that if he knew where those arrested in the coup attempt were being imprisoned, he might try to “bust them out.” He also told the crowd that the 2020 elections had been stolen from Republicans, and “if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place — and it’s bloodshed.”
These are people who have been told for decades that they have an inherent right to rule this country, that if they are losing election after election it is only because those elections are rigged against them, and that they have not just the right but the obligation to turn to violence to correct that injustice.
You could argue that this is only the lunatic fringe of the GOP, but we have seen too many times how yesterday’s GOP lunatic fringe becomes tomorrow’s GOP mainstream. And the people who might be able to rein it all back in remain in ominous silence.
Jay S. Bookman is a columnist for the Georgia Recorder, a sibling site of the , where this column first appeared.
Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Capital-Star Guest Contributor