Let’s talk about another member in good standing of the Republican Party, Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte. He’s a convicted violent criminal.
In May 2017, the day before a congressional special election in Montana, Republican Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted a reporter…. The Guardian‘s Ben Jacobs pressed Gianforte with a substantive question about health care policy, and the GOP candidate responded by attacking the journalist, throwing him to the ground, and breaking his glasses.
Gianforte and his campaign lied to the public about the unprovoked violence — they issued a public statement accusing Jacobs of instigating the physical altercation, despite an audio recording that proved otherwise — and we later learned that the Montanan lied to the police, too.
Gianforte nevertheless won his election, and after the votes were counted, he pleaded guilty to assault.
Donald Trump, who you may vaguely recall having expressed support for law and order, is campaigning now for the convict’s reelection. And the pitch is not “you should forgive him for assaulting a member of the press,” rather, Trump praised the assault, and Republicans at the rally roared their approval.
This is not a problem with “tone.” It is actual literal incitement to violence being committed by the leader of the Republican Party. Not for the first time. And he is not alone among Republican leaders in approving of violence against the press. And it comes during a week when Trump has been literally helping the Saudi government cover up the murder of a journalist who worked for the Washington Post.
Control of the mass media (by intimidation, among other means) is a defining characteristic of fascism. We should turn out for the coming election, because we literally may not get another chance to vote.