The caravan is already here

It turns out that the caravan Americans should be worried about is already here. It is the white van that t...

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 12:02 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 12:02 AM

It turns out that the caravan Americans should be worried about is already here. It is the white van that the alleged, attempted mail bomber Cesar Sayoc was driving. Fortunately, federal authorities were able to arrest and charge him with sending explosive devices to the homes and offices of many of President Donald Trump's top opponents, to two former Presidents, and to two former intelligence officials, care of CNN's New York offices.

In a bid to whip up the enthusiasm of the Republican base with the midterm elections looming, Trump has tried to paint a march of protesting people traveling through Mexico, who are weeks away from the US border, as an imminent threat to America's safety. But his narrative was interrupted rudely this week by a much more tangible threat -- the discovery of explosive devices sent from inside the US homeland.

Bombs and explosive devices

Discrimination

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Political Figures - US

Racism and racial discrimination

Societal issues

Society

US federal government

Weapons and arms

White House

Although it will probably take some time before the FBI can prove whether Sayoc was guilty and whether he acted alone, the arrest is a troubling reminder of the ways in which the President's toxic political ideas have become sources of inspiration for extremist individuals and organizations -- even those who want to commit violence.

With all the attention that the President has devoted in the past few weeks to the allegedly dangerous people who are part of the movement of immigrants seeking safety within our borders, a real concern for the country should be the potential for violent domestic political extremism to flare among people who live here and who perceive themselves to have an ally in the White House.

Domestic political violence in the United States is no joking matter. We have a long history of seeing people take up arms to prove their political point. From assassinations of presidents and other elected officials, to the murder of movement activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. to the violence committed against African-Americans in the Jim Crow South, to the white nationalists who blew up the federal government building in Oklahoma in 1995, we are a country that seen its share of these awful acts. There is good reason that many political observers keep warning President Trump and other elected officials not to play around with these ideas for electoral gain, for once they are unleashed, they become impossible to control.

However, the President has never taken this risk seriously. It is one thing to be extremely partisan but another to use dog whistles with violent organizations and to actually endorse the use of violence. The nation has seen different variations of Trump's tendencies since he took office. Of course, one of the most defining moments of his presidency occurred after the violent marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, when he refused to come down hard on the neo-Nazis who entered the college town seeking to stir up racist and anti-Semitic sentiment.

After his barn-storming rallies or tweets where he continued to shock and awe by going well beyond the boundaries of legitimate presidential discourse, Trump brushed back critics who warned that in the wrong hands his blistering words could end up inciting real violence. We saw this recently when he made light of Montana's Greg Gianforte having body slammed a journalist. "Any guy that can do a body slam, that's my kind of guy," the President said. Even in his tweet on Friday morning, he tweeted about the "Bomb stuff" that he suggested was distracting the public from the Republican rebound in the midterm elections.

Presidents have immense power. One of their greatest strengths is that their words have an impact on the national discourse unlike almost any other figure. Trump isn't simply a reality television star anymore. When the President does something like retweet the image of himself knocking down a person with a CNN logo for a head, or when he says that members of his own cabinet are virtually guilty of "treason," he sends out a dangerous message. While it is vital to remember that the President is not guilty of criminal actions committed in his name, the President is responsible for making statements that openly encourage this kind of behavior.

This week, the country learned just how that might play out on the ground in the hands of an unstable individual.

It is likely that the President won't take much of a break in his rhetoric. On Friday, he said that he thinks he's been "toned down," while warning, "I think I could really tone it up" given how "extremely unfair" the media has been to him. He will try to turn this to his advantage by suddenly becoming the champion of law and order while quickly focusing again on the refugees who he says are about to invade our borders. But really, the dangerous caravan was being driven by a violent person, brandishing Trump regalia, who seems to have been on a mission to Make America Great the only way that he knew how.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6903153
DeSoto532153
Harrison368771
Jackson334367
Madison318086
Rankin313473
Lee254066
Jones236078
Forrest231069
Washington215671
Lafayette203039
Lauderdale1984123
Bolivar177465
Oktibbeha173749
Lamar156633
Neshoba1524103
Panola140926
Sunflower138543
Lowndes138457
Warren136650
Leflore134380
Pontotoc120416
Pike120148
Monroe117665
Scott115925
Copiah115433
Coahoma110927
Holmes108458
Marshall106714
Grenada104535
Lincoln104453
Yazoo103429
Simpson100142
Union96524
Tate94537
Leake93535
Adams89135
Wayne87121
Pearl River84850
Marion83633
Covington79321
Prentiss78617
Alcorn75310
Newton74722
Itawamba74121
George73913
Tallahatchie73418
Winston71919
Tishomingo65035
Attala63625
Chickasaw63524
Tippah63516
Walthall58925
Clay56216
Hancock55420
Noxubee54015
Jasper53615
Clarke52538
Smith51714
Calhoun50612
Tunica47213
Montgomery45020
Claiborne44916
Lawrence42212
Yalobusha41314
Perry39016
Humphreys36915
Quitman3625
Stone34611
Greene33516
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32211
Carroll30812
Amite30710
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28515
Sharkey25812
Jefferson2359
Benton2151
Franklin1863
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18648332
Mobile12949288
Montgomery8560170
Madison736573
Tuscaloosa7015112
Lee558259
Shelby550149
Baldwin502148
Marshall376342
Etowah326344
Calhoun321139
Morgan312925
Houston260621
Elmore247547
DeKalb230119
St. Clair218134
Walker217780
Talladega199925
Limestone191919
Cullman180017
Franklin172728
Dallas172526
Russell16912
Autauga162424
Lauderdale159231
Colbert157224
Escambia154324
Blount150413
Jackson146610
Chilton143325
Dale128042
Covington127027
Coffee12388
Pike11329
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110642
Clarke104417
Marion91428
Butler90238
Barbour8097
Marengo69319
Winston68512
Lowndes64327
Pickens62214
Bibb6179
Hale60828
Bullock58514
Randolph58512
Lawrence57620
Monroe5708
Washington54513
Geneva5404
Perry5356
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52816
Clay5187
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw51531
Macon46619
Henry4524
Sumter41719
Fayette4128
Choctaw34212
Lamar3302
Cleburne3116
Greene29915
Coosa1573
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