Just before Thanksgiving break, former President Donald Trump told Fox News that he had met with Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse at Mar-a-Lago, where the two smiled for a photo that was custom built for right-wing social media.
The message behind the encounter is brutally simple: The ostensible leader of the U.S. Republican Party endorses deadly violence against any and all enemies—in this case, anyone exercising their First Amendment right to protest police brutality against Black people.
With this meeting, the Republican Party’s embrace of political violence came into full view. And it’s a story that some in traditional media have finally started to tell.
“One of the nation’s two major political parties appears increasingly tolerant of at least some persistent level of violence in American discourse, or at least willing to turn a blind eye to it,” wrote the Associated Press’ Jill Colvin in November.
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