By Hank Bartholomew
For anyone aware of the events of January 6th, when a mob of insurrectionists violently stormed the U.S. Capitol Building while Congress was still in session, attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election and reinstate illegitimate former president Donald Trump as the nation’s most powerful politician, the threat of violence against lawmakers is nothing new. But online threats and violent voice messages are no longer the problem. Some Americans are taking it into their hands to do as they see fit – with drastic consequences.
On October 28, 2022, an assailant stormed the house of democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco. Early in the morning, one David DePape smashed a glass door and broke into the house. DePape is a member of many right-wing conspiracy groups and also believes that Trump is the rightful president. Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of the speaker, awoke to find DePape standing over him, demanding to speak to Ms. Pelosi. He was in possession of a backpack containing rope, zip-ties, tape, and two pairs of gloves. Paul Pelosi said that when he informed DePape that the Speaker wasn’t home, the assailant said that he would wait. When Pelosi made an attempt to call 911, he was blocked. When Pelosi eventually was able to call the police, DePape made no attempt to leave, apparently saying that he had known going to the house was a suicide mission but believed he had to do what was right. When police entered the house, they discovered Pelosi grappling with dePape. The assailant ripped a hammer out of Pelosi’s hands and reportedly beat him with it before police apprehended him. Pelosi was taken to a local hospital, and it is reported that all his injuries are non-permanent or non-fatal.
What is arguably the worst part of the story is the lack of attention it is receiving, particularly from far-right media. The levels of polarization right now are such that a blind eye is being turned towards an attempt to harm a leading member of Congress. Simply put, not enough is being done to discourage such actions. Rather than facing problems, it appears that the Republican Party is just attempting to cover things up. They rocketed through January 6th hearings, and any members of their party who voted to impeach the former president have faced severe backlash. This is just one instance, but if it is allowed to go unchecked, then it will not be the first of its kind. Politics need to be put aside, in order to save both democracy and the lives of our officials.