The caravan is already here

It turns out that the caravan Americans should be worried about is already here. It is the white van that t...

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 1:02 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 1:02 AM

It turns out that the caravan Americans should be worried about is already here. It is the white van that the alleged, attempted mail bomber Cesar Sayoc was driving. Fortunately, federal authorities were able to arrest and charge him with sending explosive devices to the homes and offices of many of President Donald Trump's top opponents, to two former Presidents, and to two former intelligence officials, care of CNN's New York offices.

In a bid to whip up the enthusiasm of the Republican base with the midterm elections looming, Trump has tried to paint a march of protesting people traveling through Mexico, who are weeks away from the US border, as an imminent threat to America's safety. But his narrative was interrupted rudely this week by a much more tangible threat -- the discovery of explosive devices sent from inside the US homeland.

Bombs and explosive devices

Discrimination

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Political Figures - US

Racism and racial discrimination

Societal issues

Society

US federal government

Weapons and arms

White House

Although it will probably take some time before the FBI can prove whether Sayoc was guilty and whether he acted alone, the arrest is a troubling reminder of the ways in which the President's toxic political ideas have become sources of inspiration for extremist individuals and organizations -- even those who want to commit violence.

With all the attention that the President has devoted in the past few weeks to the allegedly dangerous people who are part of the movement of immigrants seeking safety within our borders, a real concern for the country should be the potential for violent domestic political extremism to flare among people who live here and who perceive themselves to have an ally in the White House.

Domestic political violence in the United States is no joking matter. We have a long history of seeing people take up arms to prove their political point. From assassinations of presidents and other elected officials, to the murder of movement activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. to the violence committed against African-Americans in the Jim Crow South, to the white nationalists who blew up the federal government building in Oklahoma in 1995, we are a country that seen its share of these awful acts. There is good reason that many political observers keep warning President Trump and other elected officials not to play around with these ideas for electoral gain, for once they are unleashed, they become impossible to control.

However, the President has never taken this risk seriously. It is one thing to be extremely partisan but another to use dog whistles with violent organizations and to actually endorse the use of violence. The nation has seen different variations of Trump's tendencies since he took office. Of course, one of the most defining moments of his presidency occurred after the violent marches in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, when he refused to come down hard on the neo-Nazis who entered the college town seeking to stir up racist and anti-Semitic sentiment.

After his barn-storming rallies or tweets where he continued to shock and awe by going well beyond the boundaries of legitimate presidential discourse, Trump brushed back critics who warned that in the wrong hands his blistering words could end up inciting real violence. We saw this recently when he made light of Montana's Greg Gianforte having body slammed a journalist. "Any guy that can do a body slam, that's my kind of guy," the President said. Even in his tweet on Friday morning, he tweeted about the "Bomb stuff" that he suggested was distracting the public from the Republican rebound in the midterm elections.

Presidents have immense power. One of their greatest strengths is that their words have an impact on the national discourse unlike almost any other figure. Trump isn't simply a reality television star anymore. When the President does something like retweet the image of himself knocking down a person with a CNN logo for a head, or when he says that members of his own cabinet are virtually guilty of "treason," he sends out a dangerous message. While it is vital to remember that the President is not guilty of criminal actions committed in his name, the President is responsible for making statements that openly encourage this kind of behavior.

This week, the country learned just how that might play out on the ground in the hands of an unstable individual.

It is likely that the President won't take much of a break in his rhetoric. On Friday, he said that he thinks he's been "toned down," while warning, "I think I could really tone it up" given how "extremely unfair" the media has been to him. He will try to turn this to his advantage by suddenly becoming the champion of law and order while quickly focusing again on the refugees who he says are about to invade our borders. But really, the dangerous caravan was being driven by a violent person, brandishing Trump regalia, who seems to have been on a mission to Make America Great the only way that he knew how.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 69°
Kokomo
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 69°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Mostly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 70°
Comfortable weekend with a few spotty showers & t'showers...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 771299

Reported Deaths: 14005
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1059471808
Lake570611031
Allen43193700
Hamilton37458426
St. Joseph37420568
Elkhart29819471
Tippecanoe23584231
Vanderburgh23431405
Porter19616327
Johnson18899394
Hendricks18168323
Clark13623199
Madison13604348
Vigo12908256
Monroe12626178
LaPorte12594225
Delaware11183198
Howard10747237
Kosciusko9810124
Hancock8799150
Bartholomew8296157
Warrick8150157
Floyd8072183
Grant7397181
Wayne7254201
Boone7236105
Morgan6948143
Marshall6358117
Dubois6301118
Cass6110112
Dearborn604078
Noble603590
Henry5971111
Jackson518677
Shelby512898
Lawrence4961127
Gibson467296
Montgomery461392
Clinton458455
DeKalb458485
Harrison456977
Huntington421382
Whitley418645
Steuben412861
Miami407273
Jasper402556
Knox393191
Putnam386862
Wabash371684
Adams355356
Ripley352771
Jefferson347187
White340954
Daviess3098100
Wells304881
Greene295985
Decatur293493
Fayette287464
Posey285435
Scott283458
LaGrange278472
Clay276049
Washington255637
Randolph248283
Jennings240449
Spencer239731
Fountain237250
Starke230859
Owen224759
Sullivan222943
Fulton209545
Jay203432
Carroll198822
Orange192756
Perry191939
Vermillion181944
Rush178627
Tipton173848
Franklin173035
Parke156816
Pike143434
Blackford138232
Pulaski124048
Newton123736
Benton110515
Brown106443
Crawford106316
Martin92715
Warren88015
Switzerland8488
Union73710
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events