History and political experts are issuing warnings after Donald Trump repeatedly called Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi an “animal” at a campaign rally during which he strongly suggested he will announce another run for president next week.
Marietje Schaake, the former President of the CyberPeace Institute (CPI), which advocates “for respect of laws and norms in cyberspace to ensure people’s rights and fundamental freedoms,” issued a strong warning.
“Dehumanizing and political violence are close neighbors,” said Schaake, columnist and former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands. “Trump is playing with fire and knows it, still chooses to call Pelosi (and gang members) an animal. It is appalling and should not be normalized.”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough delivered a heartfelt yet stern warning, calling those who can’t find any sympathy for Pelosi after her 82-year old husband of nearly 60 years was “bashed in the brains” by an attacker who has spouted far right wing conspiracy theories and ideologies “sick.”
Scarborough also likened the dehumanization of Pelosi to “how Nazis turn people into, they dehumanize them.”
“People have been lying about Nancy Pelosi and have been spreading, spreading just the most vile attacks against Nancy Pelosi for so long that she’s been turned – again, she’s been, you look at what I just said about how Nazis turn people into, they dehumanize them, and they dehumanize this woman who actually is a woman of great faith,” Scarborough said Tuesday on “Morning Joe.”
“And if you don’t like that, tough, I really want to say another word. I’ll just say ‘tough luck,’ because she has anybody that’s talked to her for more than five minutes knows. She is a Catholic of deep faith and and a kind warm and you may not like it may not like politics, it’s that we’re supposed to be a nation where Jefferson and Hamilton can hate each other’s politics, right? But she’s been dehumanized to such a point that I know you. I know you people. I know. I won’t say your names of course. But I know you’ve dehumanized Nancy Pelosi. You’re a good person. You live in a good, good neighborhood. You got a good family. You go to a good church, but you’ve dehumanized Nancy Pelosi so much that you can’t even feel sympathy. You can’t even relate to her having an 82-year old husband, who was beaten up, bashed in the brains, had to be rushed to emergency surgery in the middle of the night. And you have allowed politics to dehumanize her so much that you don’t feel any emotion for that.”
“And I just ask that you, you, you I ask it. However you got to that point. If you’re Christian, just you know, we should pray about that today. If you’re not that’s fine. I hope you can meditate on it. I hope you can think about it. Because that’s a real sickness. And that’s your sickness. Nancy Pelosi is not the one who’s sick. You’re the one who’s sick. If you don’t feel pain for her and her family.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 8, 2022
“While this interview was airing, with Speaker Pelosi sharing her heartbreak after an intruder looking for her broke into her house and attacked her husband, prompting a national conversation about dehumanizing rhetoric, Donald Trump called her an ‘animal’ to an Ohio rally.”
Political scientist Brian Klaas, an associate professor in global politics at University College London, warned: “Trump, just tonight, has called Pelosi ‘an animal,’ days after she was targeted in an assassination attempt and has suggested journalists who don’t reveal sources should be jailed, where, he implies, they will be raped. Do not vote for his disciples. This is a very dark path.”
(Klass is correct on Trump calling for journalists to be jailed, specifically, journalists involved in the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft decision striking down Roe v. Wade.)
Immediately after Trump’s speech Monday night MSNBC’s Medhi Hasan tweeted, “This morning on CNN, Kevin McCarthy said the best way to avoid violence is for *Biden* to tone down his language.”
“Tonight, Trump called Nancy Pelosi, whose husband was attacked 10 days ago, an ‘animal.’ Yes, an ‘animal.’ And it won’t even be a headline tomorrow morning.”
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, speaking on CNN Tuesday morning told viewers that calling Speaker Pelosi an “animal” is “a dehumanizing thing to say about somebody who is second in line for the presidency and whose husband was just attacked in in in a break-in attempt where she was the target. So, you know, highly motivated.”
“Yeah. Donald Trump has a very long history of demanding to be treated with some level of humanity while dehumanizing others,” Haberman continued, as Mediaite reported. “And this was no exception. But this was pretty striking given everything that we know that’s going on right now.”
Haberman added, “Trump’s idea of strength is violence.”
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