Whether you call it “Trump Derangement Syndrome” or just drama-seeking hysteria, Democratic rhetoric sure seems to have reached a fever pitch lately. As House Democrats push an impeachment inquiry, one of the most anti-Trump congresswomen just took things to a whole new level.
One Wednesday, perpetually pandering California Rep. Maxine Waters raised eyebrows when she suggested that President Donald Trump was literally putting Democrats like herself in danger by speaking out against liberals.
Yet it was Waters who famously ratcheted the rhetoric of division up to a new level not long ago by loudly calling for anti-Trump protesters to harass Republican political figures in public. Waters’ Wednesday comment was just another tone-deaf move by liberal politicians who seem clueless that they might be part of the problem after all.
“[Trump] is setting some of us up to be killed,” the California Democrat declared during an appearance on MSNBC, according to a transcript from RealClearPolitics.
“I have death threats constantly. There are a number of people who have been convicted for threatening to kill me,” she continued.
“I mean, I can’t go to the grocery store anymore by myself. I have to pay for security all the time. I can’t move around the country without security.”
Maxine Waters, who infamously instructed her supporters to harass Trump officials in public and “tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere…”
…is now complaining on MSNBC that she can’t go to the grocery store without security. pic.twitter.com/HmX6NQ2VCR
— Andrew Clark? (@AndrewHClark) October 2, 2019
Waters seems to be conveniently forgetting a few things. First, while any threats against elected officials are of course alarming, she’s far from alone in dealing with that reality as a public figure.
In fact, numerous people have been arrested for making threats against the president. A simple Google search reveals many of those cases, and many more are investigated by local law enforcement and the U.S. Secret Service.
“There were 23 prosecutions for threats against Donald Trump or those in the presidential line of succession last year, a 130% increase over 2017, when there were 10, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse,” Quartz reported in March.
“The uptick came after five years of steady decline.”
It’s worth noting that the 23 prosecutions do not include the higher number of arrests and investigations that do not end up being pursued in court.
To be clear, threats against one politician do not offset similar threats against another. But that brings us to the second point: If Waters is so concerned about dangerous rhetoric that might spiral out of control, she might want to take a hard look in the mirror.
While the congresswoman is fretting about unwanted attention at grocery stores, she herself openly encouraged political harassment not long ago.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” Waters shouted to supporters in June 2018, according to Time.
“If you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Those comments were roundly criticized at the time for seeming to encourage mob-like actions against political opponents. But Waters hasn’t stopped, most recently threatening to put Trump into “solitary confinement.”
Once more: There is no place for encouraging violence against officials over political disagreements, no matter the party involved. Both sides must do better.
But that includes Waters. She bears the same responsibility for her own harsh rhetoric as anybody else, and she should maybe think twice before making more melodramatic declarations.
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