President Donald Trump is responsible for the MAGA bomber. While he did not directly tell Caesar Sayoc to send 14 pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and journalists, his overall rhetoric at speeches and rallies shows that these bombings were inevitable.
Since he announced his candidacy for president, Trump has used rallies around the country to incite violence against those who disagree with him.
Trump showed this intensity numerous times throughout the campaign trial when he encouraged aggression against protestors and his political opponents. Trump has continued this violent rhetoric since his election.
A more recent example of his speech encouraging violence was his statements about Greg Gianforte, a Republican congressmen from Montana, who made headlines for body slamming reporter Ben Jacobs.
While most people would condemn the assault of a journalist, Trump applauded Gianforte and proclaimed “he’s my kind of guy” to the laughter of his supporters.
While Caesar Sayoc and others like him were always going to commit these acts of violence, Trump should still face consequences for these bombings and other crimes like it.
Trump has unleashed what Forbes contributor Todd Essig calls “a trifecta of hate that ferments terrorism.” At rallies he calls Democrats and journalists that criticize him “enemies of the people” and endorses hatred and hostility against his opponents.
He and plenty of his supporters have created an “us versus them” mentality. It is no longer a debate on different ideas regarding how to run the government, but a battle of good versus evil, with no middle ground.
Republicans frequently show a lack of bipartisanship in Congress. Republican congresspeople often do whatever they can to make sure Democrats do not get the legislation they want passed, no matter how much their constituents support it.
This “good versus evil” mentality the Republicans seem to possess is harmful and will influence extremists, like Caesar Sayoc, to commit crimes like the acts of terrorism shown weeks ago.
While Caesar Sayoc does not represent the large majority of Trump supporters, and there are extremists on both sides of the political spectrum, this black and white philosophy is damaging and hurts forward progress in our political system.