“Paul Pelosi“, the husband of United States House speaker “Nancy Pelosi“, was recently injured in a bloody hammer attack. Just weeks before America’s crucial midterm elections, this raised huge fears over the country’s political violence.
An individual apparently entered the democratic leader’s home in search of Nancy Pelosi, as violent rhetoric and threats targeting US lawmakers have risen alarmingly recently.
As Americans prepare to vote on November 8th, many observers and experts have warned that political violence may occur. Rightwing claims of voter fraud and persistent accusations that the 2020 election was stolen have infused the election with a conspiracy and intimidation atmosphere.
Paul Pelosi’s attacker posted numerous far-right conspiracy theories on social media, including those about big tech and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to police, during a break-in at Pelosi’s San Francisco home, 42-year-old David DePape beat Nancy’s husband with a hammer until officers disarmed him. Various charges have been filed against the suspect, including attempted homicide and assault with a deadly weapon. In a statement, Pelosi’s office said he would make a full recovery after being taken to a local hospital.
In a statement issued Saturday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi said, “A violent man broke into our family home, confronted my husband Paul, and brutally attacked him.” I, our children, and our grandchildren are heartbroken and in extreme trauma from this life-threatening attack.
According to CNN, the assailant targeted the speaker, “Nancy Pelosi,” who was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack. The assailant entered the speaker’s house, shouting, “Where is Nancy?”
In recent years, American judges, lawmakers, and political candidates have faced threats of violence.
In the month of June, after getting a kill threat, a man with a gun was arrested just outside the house of Supreme Court justice “Brett Kavanaugh”. Just a month later, the police got a call about an unknown man standing outside the house of PramilaJayapal, who was shouting racial slurs and death threats against the progressive congresswoman. After that, Lee Zeldin, the New York gubernatorial candidate, was attacked at a campaign event by a man with a sharp weapon.
Since the January 6 insurrection last year, US Capitol police have reported an overall increase in threats against members of Congress. USCP data shows officers tracked 9,626 threats and directions of interest (meaning statements or action) against members of Congress, compared with 3,940 in 2017. As a response to this worrisome trend, the sergeant at arms of the house is offering lawmakers up to $10,000 to upgrade their home security.
Although both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have faced lots of threats in recent months, in a study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League, right-wing extremists committed about 75% of the 440 political murders in the US over the past decade, while left-wing extremists committed 4%.
On January 6, Donald Trump’s supporters attempted to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, providing a vivid example of the dangers of right-wing extremism. According to the report of a bipartisan Senate committee, which was released in June, seven people died during this insurrection.
The man who assaulted Pelosi’s husband on Friday spoke the same words as the January 6 insurrectionists. One man who was recorded while participating in the Capitol attack said, “We’re looking for you, Nancy. Where are you? “
Republicans have condemned the use of threats and violence against political opponents following Pelosi’s husband’s attack. A call came from Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the House Select Committee investigating January 6, whose family has received death threats.
According to Kinzinger tweet, “the disturbing attack on Nancy’s husband this morning by a obsessed man with election conspiracies is very dangerous truth fostered by some members of my own party”. Now these things must be condemned by every congress candidate and member.