- The Washington Times - Friday, June 16, 2017

An associate professor at Central Connecticut State University claims the leftist gunman who opened fire this week on Republican members of Congress was “driven by Trump and trumpism.”

In a blog post highlighted by Campus Reform, associate professor Jerold Duquette argued Thursday that President Trump and “trumpism,” or rhetoric employed or inspired by the president, can drive “intellectually feeble” and “mentally unstable” people to commit political violence.

“Yesterday, a left wing extremist was driven by Trump and trumpism to try to kill people,” Mr. Duquette wrote.

“When the Republicans nominated Donald Trump last year it represented the unconditional surrender of the GOP’s intellectual, ethical, and moral standards,” he continued. “It was a huge victory for incivility, anti-intellectualism, and extremism. With the help of left wing extremists (and apparently the Russians), that victory was magnified in the 2016 general election, giving us the most extreme and uncivilized national political leadership we have ever had.”

Mr. Duquette said the Republicans who condemned Wednesday’s shooting were just “going through the motions” but lack the “moral and intellectual authority to make this condemnation useful.”

“Bloviating profiteers in the rightwing media have already begun to undercut their credibility by using this incident to fuel the right wing alternate reality propaganda machine, which unlike the leftwing alternate reality propaganda machine, has a strong and lucrative foothold in the commercial media industry and a plentiful and vulnerable target audience,” he wrote.

“Barry Goldwater was profoundly wrong! Extremism in the pursuit of ANYTHING in politics is vicious,” he concluded.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise remained in critical condition Friday after he was shot by a gunman in an attempted assassination of Republicans at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday morning. A congressional staffer, a lobbyist and two Capitol police officers were also injured.

The suspect, James T. Hodgkinson, died following a shootout with police. Identified as a former campaign volunteer for Sen. Bernie Sanders, Mr. Hodgkinson had a history of posting anti-Republican and anti-President Trump messages on social media.

In the comments section of his post, Mr. Duquette explained that “violent rhetoric is far more common and acceptable on the right than on the left.”

“The phenomenon I’m calling Trumpism IS CLEARLY facilitating terrible things,” he wrote. “Its very easy to link Trump and trumpism to yesterday’s perpetrator because we have lots of evidence that his rage was specifically directed at Trump and the GOP.”

He argued that the normalization of “Trumpist incivility” may make it possible “for violent extremists to mount successful insanity defenses in court.”

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