Pipe bombs wreak havoc on the democratic party before midterms

Daria Burnley

By Daria Burnley

Around mid afternoon on Monday, Oct. 22, a pipe bomb arrived at the gates of the home of prominent donor to the Democratic party, George Soros. That Monday was the beginning of a six-day long domestic terrorist attack against prominent liberal figureheads and critics of Donald Trump. By Friday at 10:52 a.m. the FBI had confirmed an arrest made on Cesar Sayoc, a far right conservative who was apprehended from DNA evidence. The pipe bombs, although claiming no casualties, have instead plunged our already divisive government into a whirlwind of conspiracy, mistrust, and panic, as minorities continue to be scapegoated by the administration.

What we know of Cesar Sayoc is that from his Florida residence he sent out 15 known pipe bombs to Democratic party members and several liberal spokespeople who included Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Joe Biden, James Clapper, and even Robert De Niro. However, during a court hearing held on the 29th, Sayoc had a list of close to 100 potential targets for pipe bomb attacks. As well, it was well discovered, that Sayoc owned a van covered with anti-CNN and pro-Trump stickers, with rifle sights on the faces of the likes of Hillary Clinton and others..

From a criminology standpoint, there is not much information about who Cesar Sayoc is aside from his current and previous criminal history to draw accurate conclusions as to why he did what he did. For most terrorists, there is no clear pathological link between them and their actions, and most likely in this case, the current political culture mixed with a foundation of extremist views culminated into violence. Before Sayoc, between the years 1978 and 1995 the infamous “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski also used the U.S. postal service to send homemade explosives to prominent industrialists. Although he culminated three fatalities over the course of 17 years and his primary motive was to destroy the technologically advancing world (as a result of certain mental health issues), what Sayoc and Kaczynski have in common is a pension for extremism. What they saw as threats to the sanctity of their perceived “right” society led to terrorism as they used fear as a means of inducing a change that they deemed necessary, as most terrorists do. What’s important to remember is to call Cesar Sayoc a terrorist. It’s become common interest to call white men who do great scales of domestic violence “mentally ill,” however,  Sayoc’s crimes were premeditated and he sent 15 pipe bombs as a means to hurt people, people who represent the voices of an entire political party. Sayoc used violence and fear to control the public and its that version of him that must remain clearest in approaching his case and what his actions mean for the future of America.

What our present holds, is the same sense of deja vu after each terrorist attack or any large scale violence: fingers get pointed, fake news abounds and is also blamed, and the people get behind or away from the government.  Prominent conservatives including Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh claimed the attacks were used by the democrats as a means of gaining sympathy at the polls. The president’s cabinet proved unsupportive and lacked any sense of reality as Twitter users called out Sarah Sanders for using the iPhone Notes app to write out the president’s official statement. People have even taken to blaming the U.S. postal service for allowing pipe bombs to be sent. Yet most of the devices were found after they failed regular mailing procedures. Even after the arrest of Sayoc, conspiracies still circulate and the “fake news” media cycle is livelier than before. This country once again faces an issue of half truths in the face of facts, emotions override evidence as violence continues to escalate from the overbearing sense of silence and stagnatism from our government.