US political tension could make people more inclined toward violence
Political tension within the United States is taking the country by storm as the government warns that politicization could cause more violence.
The stark increase in political tensions in the United States could be a driving force for people to be more inclined toward violence, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Wednesday, though the governmental body recalled that there were just a few incidents of the sort during the midterm election day earlier in the month.
"While violence surrounding the November midterm elections was isolated, we remain vigilant that heightened political tensions in the country could contribute to individuals mobilizing to violence based on personalized grievances," the DHS said in a statement.
Americans believing that government overreach is imminent continues to drive individuals to commit violence against government and law enforcement officials, the DHS noted.
Meanwhile, the department underlined that domestic and foreign terrorist organizations still had the intent to attack the US while maintaining a visible presence online in a bid to incite their supporters to carry out terrorist attacks on US soil.
"Our homeland continues to face a heightened threat environment – as we have seen, tragically, in recent acts of targeted violence – and is driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal or act on a grievance," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the statement.
The secretary further noted that his department was committed to working with partners across every level of government, the private sector, and local communities on information-sharing, training, and resource opportunities.
The DHS concluded its by underlining its expectations that the threat environment remains heightened in the coming months, citing its possible targets as faith-based institutions, the media, radical and religious minorities, and the LGBT community.
Concerns were raised over the rise of violence in the US, particularly in light of the recent assault on Paul Pelosi, Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, ahead of the midterm elections in the country.
US officials believe that this was the result of unconstrained disinformation and political vitriol as a precursor for attacks.
Instances of electoral threats and intimidation were reportedly hiking days ahead of the elections, including in Arizona where armed men are seen patrolling ballot drop boxes.
Self-appointed Arizona ballot box monitors who were allegedly bullying voters in the lead-up to the US midterm elections were instructed to maintain their distance just days before the elections.
Groups of individuals, some of whom were masked, carried weapons, dressed in tactical gear, and loitered around polling stations throughout Arizona, claiming they are there to stop a repetition of the ballot stuffing that they assert, without providing any proof, cost Donald Trump the 2020 election
The day that the assault on Paul Pelosi occurred, US security agencies issued a warning that domestic violent extremists (DVE) pose "heightened threats" around the November 8 vote.
The threats have been ongoing for months, however.
On June 9, the Justice Department charged an armed man who was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland. The man, unhappy about the high court's opposition to abortion rights, was reportedly attempting or threatening to kidnap or murder judge Kavanaugh.
On July 14, an armed man who reportedly threatened to kill Democrat Pramila Jayapal was arrested outside her Seattle home on suspicion of committing a hate crime.
On July 21, Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin was attacked during an upstate campaign by a military veteran who was reportedly suffering from alcoholism and PTSD.
Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell has likewise been the target of numerous violent threats which he blamed on Trump's supporters.