The attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband echoed threats pro-Trump rioters made during the Capitol riot. An expert on authoritarianism warns there could be more to come.

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FBI agents outside Pelosi house
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 28: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) takes measurements spherical Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s dwelling after her husband Paul Pelosi was assaulted with hammer inside their Pacific Heights dwelling early morning on October 28, 2022 in San Francisco, California, United States.

  • The attack on Paul Pelosi could be a sign of more violence to come, per an expert on authoritarianism.
  • Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an NYU historic previous professor, talked about the attack could be a continuation of the January 6 riot.
  • “The attacker who injured Paul Pelosi was looking for Nancy Pelosi, likely wanting to finish the job,” she talked about.

The attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband by an individual who apparently subscribed to far-right conspiracy theories about each factor from the battle in Ukraine to the 2020 election is a possible harbinger of more violence in direction of liberals, a primary expert on authoritarianism knowledgeable Insider.

Paul Pelosi, the Democrat’s 82-year-old husband, was attacked with a hammer early Friday morning in the couple’s dwelling. An individual police have acknowledged as David DePape is in custody and has been charged with tried homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, and burglary.

Police have not acknowledged a motive. However, the attacker reportedly talked about, “Where is Nancy?” an echo of the rioters who breached the US Capitol. Their web historic previous moreover suggests a partisan motive.

On social media and his personal weblog, Depape promoted Holocaust denial, shared films from right-wing thinkers comparable to Jordan Peterson, and steered that former President Donald Trump determine ex-Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as his subsequent working mate.

DePape, a 42-year-old, moreover shared films attacking the congressional committee investigating the January 6 riot.

Speaking to Insider, Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an expert on authoritarianism and a historic previous professor at New York University, steered that Friday’s attack — which has left Mr. Pelosi in the hospital with a fractured skull and completely different accidents — was a continuation of the violence at the US Capitol remaining yr that aimed to overturn the outcomes of the presidential election.

“We know that Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House and third in line for the Presidential succession, was a main target of insurgents on January 6,” Ben-Ghiat talked about. “The attacker who injured Paul Pelosi was looking for Nancy Pelosi, likely wanting to finish the job.”

Ben-Ghiat, who focuses on Italian historic previous — and the rise of fascism there — argued that the attack was a product of a right-wing ecosystem that depicts liberals, leftists, and Democrats as not merely misguided by actually evil. In a present broadcast, as an illustration, Fox News character Tucker Carlson talked about the Democratic Party was a “child sacrifice cult,” an attack on the get collectively’s abortion rights stance that mirrors the rhetoric of QAnon conspiracy theorists — and antisemitic tropes — that Democrats really drink the blood of children.

“Republicans and Fox News have long depicted Democrats as mortal enemies, and political violence happens in exactly these circumstances: when people feel that the political opposition poses an existential threat and must be eliminated through violence,” Ben-Ghiat talked about. “Look for more such actions as the GOP continues to embrace violence and brings extremists from the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys into the ranks of the party.”

That analysis is shared by Wendy Via, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, a bunch that seeks to cut back political violence it sees as generated by demagogues.

“The vitriol that demeans and dehumanizes people combined with the rampant lies that the 2020 election was stolen are inspiring violence and setting an already polarized nation more on edge,” Via talked about in an announcement following the attack. She argued that the incident is a warning of more to come.

“Election deniers, conspiracy theorists, and white supremacists — largely inspired and emboldened by Trump and his allies — are ready to take up arms if the midterm elections don’t go their way,” she talked about, “and are willing to threaten, harass, and commit violence ahead of the elections to intimidate voters who are simply trying to exercise their civil right to vote.”

Read the distinctive article on Business Insider

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