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Cesar Sayoc: the [redacted]-motivated bomber. Violence has been a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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The president has inspired a dramatic increase in hate crimes. His rhetoric has singled out numerous Democratic figures as well as people who were just doing their jobs for the CIA or the FBI. Everyone who investigated Him for His connections to Russia, for example, was specifically called out and insulted in hateful terms. One person famously took His words to heart and sent mail bombs to a number of people mentioned in His tweets: Cesar Sayoc.

This man Sayoc was sexually abused by a priest while in boarding school. Later he started taking massive doses of steroids to bulk up, which made him paranoid. He was primed to act violently. He saw [redacted] as his savior. So he built a number of mail bombs and sent them out. He became “the MAGA bomber.”

Among his intended victims were George Soros, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, Peter Strzok, Anderson Cooper, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden.

His bombs were mailed out shortly after the midterm elections in 2018. They were incapable of detonating even though they contained low-grade explosive materials. The bombs thoroughly frightened the FBI (they only get about sixteen mail bombs in a typical year.) Their massive investigation quickly tracked him down and neutralized him.

There has been a large increase in hate crimes in the last four years, most of them directed at targets singled out by [redacted.] There has also been an increase in projection (that psychological quirk in which you blame others for your own impulses), as exemplified by Sean Hannity:

On October 11 [2018], Hannity said on his nightly Fox News talk show, “Just look at the large number of Democratic leaders encouraging mob violence against their political opponents.”

Shortly after Hannity made those comments, Mr. Sayoc began his campaign of impotent mail bombs. They garnered enormous publicity. No-one had paid any attention to the white Dodge van that Mr. Sayoc covered with bumper stickers and photos of his favorite villains with cross-hairs painted over their faces. The story faded quickly, in part because no-one was hurt and the bombs were incomplete.

In March 2019, Sayoc pleaded guilty to 65 felonies, and that August, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Federal District Court in Manhattan sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The judge imposed a relatively light penalty in part because it wasn’t clear that Sayoc’s bombs had ever been intended to go off. While they could have been ignited by accident, Sayoc wrote in letters to the court that he had deliberately omitted fuses or an ignition system. (“It was nothing more than a crude counterfeit stage prop,” Sayoc wrote in a letter responding to questions from WIRED.) Still, the judge said, Sayoc’s devices “were intended to strike fear and terror into the minds of their victims.”

Thus does the hate stimulated by [redacted] continue to fly under the radar. Much of the violence we have seen connected to protest demonstrations all over the country has actually been perpetrated by right-wing provocateurs. That provocation has been met enthusiastically by police and federal officers who take the bait and beat up, gas, and shoot rubber bullets at peaceful demonstrators.

This violence has been turned into an excuse for the president’s “law and order” rhetoric, when in fact those people who oppose the president most bitterly have not committed any of it. In fact, they have been the victims of the violence rather than the perpetrators.

The only way to end this nightmare is to massively repudiate [redacted] at the polls. A landslide defeat is necessary to convince the country that this is not who we want to represent us.

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