It’s Time for Republicans to Admit That No One is Safe From MAGA Supporters

By: Kierra Johnson

Trump and his supporters have way too much power, and the evidence has only grown since the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol. On May 28th, former police officer Michael Fanone spoke to the press outside of the courthouse where closing arguments were made during Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York City. Some hours later, Fanone’s mother was swatted at her home in Virginia, because a fake manifesto that included plans for a school shooting listed Fanone’s mother’s address. 

The manifesto and the swatting are manifestations of how far MAGA supporters are willing to go to support Donald Trump in protecting his image and his campaign. It has already reached deadly levels before, and this latest incident just shows how it’s far past the time for Republicans to admit that the MAGA ideology is akin to domestic terrorism. 

If you’re not familiar with swatting, it is a retaliation tactic where someone calls in a fake threat that results in a SWAT team surrounding someone’s house, believing the threat is real and going in with guns at the ready. It is egregious, but it is effective. In some circles, it has put some victims in far worse situations than just being surrounded. In 2019, a gamer was convicted of conspiracy and obstruction of justice because a swatting incident he initiated led to another gamer’s death. Other swatting incidents have led to SWAT going to the wrong house and killing residents who had no connections to the original callers. In the case of Fanone’s mother, although she was “mortified” by the incident, it is very possible that the people who made the fake manifesto and the call to swat her home were expecting some sort of physical violence. 

Donald Trump didn’t have to repeat any dog whistles or incite violence in a speech to make this attack happen. His supporters took offense to Fanone calling Trump “authoritarian” and with no guidance, they successfully attacked his family member. Republicans and Democrats need to be terrified of this for a couple of reasons. 

The first is that violent actions like these could possibly ramp up as MAGA supporters do whatever is in their power to stand up for Trump. The second reason is that despite the fact that virtually all right-leaning politicians and voters are firmly against police reform, let alone defunding or abolition, Fanone’s history as a police officer didn’t protect him from being targeted. With retaliatory campaigns like “Back the Blue” and “Blue Lives Matter” in response to protests against police brutality, police officers have become somewhat of a protected class among Republicans. There are other examples of officers being attacked, but the disdain for Fanone in spite of him being a former officer is proof that no one of any status is safe from the MAGA mob. Some Trump supporters are willing to take seriously harmful action to bring the U.S. closer to another Trump presidency.

All eyes have to be on the upcoming elections, which include primaries for many Congressional races. We must ensure that MAGA Republicans lose those primaries so that our representatives will stand up for our values, not Donald Trump’s. Make sure you are registered to vote, and in the meantime, it is important to be vocal about the outrageous violence that is perpetuated by Trump supporters. Speaking out, especially on social media may seem small, but it takes many voices to contribute to the larger conversations that are calling for better representation and a safer America for everyone. 

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