Washington, DC – Below is a column by Maribel Hastings and David Torres from America’s Voice en Español translated to English from Spanish. It ran in several Spanish-language media outlets earlier this week.
You know those low-budget horror films, where you think you’ve reached the end and then absurd situations continue to pop up? That’s how we feel after the FBI raid into former President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-A-Lago. This operation to recover boxes of classified papers that, for some reason, Trump continued to have in his control, took a surprising turn when we learned that documents with nuclear secrets could be involved.
But in reality, nothing like this is surprising in the life and times of a personality who, even during his businessman stage, acted like scandal was just part of his style, sweetened by the type of glamour seen in mafia movies.
The comparison to low-budget films comes because, while we certainly thought Trump would continue to make noise, we didn’t expect that an action by the federal government would put him at the center of the political debate once again. And this, with all the attention that he always seeks and with a platform to continue destabilizing the political process, and even security, from his trench.
In fact, the character that he has created for himself, taking advantage of the deification of the underworld that is made and perpetuated in this country, has a potent and damaging echo, like the ones produced by characters whose evilness has the firm intention of “world domination,” followed by a loud, cackling laugh and a flick of the tail.
Worse still, as was anticipated from Trump, he exploited the event for his own benefit through fundraising and inciting violence, which we have already been accustomed to seeing from his followers, with his declarations that he is a “politically persecuted,” poor thing.
In fact, some days ago an individual tried to enter the FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio with an assault rifle, and began to fire a nail gun. The incident ended with the man dead. He turned out to be a Navy veteran follower of Trump who, according to various reports, participated in the riots on January 6, 2021 at the federal Capitol and who, after the search of Trump’s residence, said on Truth Social—the social media platform founded by Trump—that he wanted to kill FBI agents.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have sounded the alarm about the recent threats of violence against their agents and outposts, other officials, and even the publication of residential addresses and the names of the agents who participated in the operation—and their family members—on social media platforms.
Unfortunately, none of this is at all surprising, because the violence from Trump supporters that is promoted on social media has been normalized, to the extent that the Republican Party doesn’t even worry about it. Their inaction in the face of this angry way of ending their own country is only comparable to the equally sinister way that their promotion of anti-immigrant rhetoric of hate and racism has become a Republican trademark, impossible to avoid.
What’s more, it pays to look at how Republican leaders in Congress and nationally have reacted to the raid of Trump’s residence. Those “paragons” of “law and order” have been the first to question the actions of the FBI and Department of Justice, some even calling the operation “abusive” and “excessive,” and others saying that they “planted” evidence, without any proof. It doesn’t matter that Trump had classified information in his home, which could even include nuclear secrets, or that in the process Trump had violated the Espionage Act.
No, sir. None of that matters to Republicans, whose only interest is continuing to use Trump as a bridge to attract their recalcitrant and extremist base, with the goal of keeping themselves in power or defeating the Democrats. This same base now demands that they take money from the FBI, like the Black Lives Matter movement demanded taking funds from the police, in the context of the abuses by some that culminated in the deaths of African American civilians and other minorities through the use of excessive force. Equating the two in a joking way is not only incorrect, it is shameful. And they know it, but they laugh in the face of this nation because they have achieved such a degree of cynicism and impunity that they are not interested in the reality of the country in which they live, but in imposing a single, white, and supremacist vision of the world, no matter the cost—even the blood, sweat, and tears that have been shed throughout the history of the United States.
But the Republicans who do not care what Trump does—whether it’s the potential violation of the laws of espionage and using language that could incite violence—have us accustomed to this shameful conduct, since they continue compromising morality and decency to defend a corrupt figure who, even after leaving the presidency, continues to do a ton of damage.
To read the Spanish version of this article click here.