The shooter, identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, was a Bernie Sanders supporter who held fervent left-wing political views, if his Facebook profile is any indication.
Hodgkinson’s Facebook “likes” included the Southern Poverty Law Center, Right Wing Watch, Media Matters, Occupy DC, MoveOn.org, Rachel Maddow, Michael Moore, Americans Against the Republican Party, and many more anti-Republican and left-wing pages.
The shooting comes amid a disturbing trend of “jokes” from public figures about murdering President Trump.
The most recent example came from the Public Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” in New York’s Central Park. The play portrayed a modern-day Caesar who resembled Donald Trump: a dictator with blonde hair, a business suit, a gold bathtub and a Slavic wife. The Trump-like Caesar got knifed to death onstage, drawing a standing ovation from the audience.
David Kupelian, WND’s vice president and managing editor, was horrified to hear of the play.
“When the assassination of a sitting president is graphically celebrated in New York’s Central Park, and gets a standing ovation from onlookers, and at least some of its sponsors enthusiastically endorse it, what we’re looking at is a shockingly depraved loss of conscience and decency on the part of the ‘hate Trump’ crowd,” Kupelian said. “It is reminiscent of the French Revolution and the giddy blood-lust of the enraged populace who watched the beheadings of their former leaders as though it were great entertainment.”
The Trump-like Caesar’s assassination came not long after comedian Kathy Griffin posed for a photograph holding the bloodied severed head in the likeness of Trump. The photo shoot came after Adam Pally, star of the Fox network show “Making History,” told TMZ that if he could go back in time, “I’d have to kill Trump or Hitler.”
The comment came shortly after Snoop Dogg released a music video depicting himself pointing a toy gun at a clown dressed as Trump and pulling the trigger. It came after fellow rapper Big Sean rapped about killing the president: “And I might just kill ISIS with the same icepick / That I murder Donald Trump in the same night with.”
Madonna, speaking to the Jan. 21 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., declared: “Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
In fact, in the 12 days following Trump’s inauguration, more than 12,000 tweets popped up either joking about or calling for Trump’s assassination.
Shortly after Trump was elected in November, Matt Harrigan, CEO of the cybersecurity company PacketSled, posted on Facebook, “I’m going to kill the president. Elect.”
He added that he was “getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts. Find a bedroom in the whitehouse that suits you motherf—er. I’ll find you.”
Harrigan resigned a few days later.
Also on election night, British journalist Monisha Rajesh tweeted, “It’s about time for a presidential assassination.”
All of this adds up to a culture teetering on the brink of disaster, according to Kupelian.
“What we’re witnessing in America is extremely dangerous,” warned Kupelian, author of “The Snapping of the American Mind,” which documents the madness of the left and its negative effects on the rest of Americans. “Understand that when Snoop Dogg shoots President Trump in a video, when Kathy Griffin beheads President Trump in a publicity photo, when Shakespeare in the Park revels in assassinating President Trump and people cheer, when the Washington Post and others repeatedly compare President Trump with Adolf Hitler, they are literally encouraging – and whether they think they are or not is totally irrelevant – angry, unstable and unhinged members of society to act out these deranged and evil fantasies.” Kupelian made the statement one day before Hodgkinson started his shooting spree at congressional Republicans.
As WND reported, Hodgkinson posted on Facebook in March: “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and congressional candidate, said Hodgkinson’s precise motive doesn’t matter. What matters is that political violence has become normalized in an America where the notion of good vs. bad has been taken up a notch.
“The political temperature in the country is too hot, and what’s happening is you have one side of the aisle that has dehumanized the other side of the aisle, and this goes back decades, this ‘critical theory’ nonsense and the degeneration of the political dialogue into the oppressor versus the oppressed, meaning the good versus the bad guys,” Bongino explained to WND.
“The critical difference is it’s no longer the good versus the bad ideas. There’s a big difference between that – good vs. bad ideas versus good vs. bad people – and sadly that’s what the other side believes, so they create an environment that’s normalized political violence that is literally driving people mad with rage.”
Bongino said he did plenty of interviews with people with severe psychopathologies during his 12 years in the Secret Service. He knows heated rhetoric can inspire people to do crazy things, but he doesn’t think the left cares about all the irresponsible “jokes” surrounding Trump.
“I mean, think about it: Don’t you find it a little odd that at a John McCain presidential rally, a radio host used Obama’s middle name and it was, like, an international controversy?” Bongino recalled. “And yet, we have a beheading, a mock beheading, Madonna calling for the White House to be blown up, we have a mock assassination in Shakespeare in the Park, potentially in front of thousands of people. Where’s the organized outcry from the left? I mean, McCain got up onstage himself and said, ‘Listen, I don’t support that.’ Where’s Nancy Pelosi? Where the hell is Chuck Schumer? The answer is they’re nowhere.”
Bongino suspects Pelosi and Schumer don’t want to speak out and risk alienating the far-left base on whom their party depends.
“So you’re willing to accept political violence as a result?” he asked, incredulously.
“This is beyond a disgrace – a disgrace, a shame, words aren’t even powerful enough to discuss what’s going on in the country right now with the left. It’s going to be a historical stain on the country that this was allowed to happen, this continued nasty political dialogue.”
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