Attack on Paul Pelosi feels a lot like treasonous terrorism

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, were the targets of an attack in San Francisco on Friday.

Zach Petroff | Opinions Editor

Nov. 3, 2022

There is a subtle, yet intense, rumbling spreading across the nation. What started as lowly chatter has amped up to a louder growl among like-minded individuals is becoming noticeably louder as the divide between Americans keeps widening. Americans on both sides of the political spectrum wonder if there is anything that can reconcile the partisan gap.

Unfortunately, words have moved to action.

According to filing by local prosecutors, on Friday morning, David DePape broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco. With Speaker Pelosi in Washington, DePape attacked Mr. Pelosi with a hammer, striking him at least once. The authorities have confirmed that DePape yelled “Where is Nancy?” and had zip ties.

Mr. Pelosi underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands, the speaker’s office said Friday.

According to a statement made by Speaker Pelosi and her office last week, Mr. Pelosi’s doctors expect a full recovery for him.

In a court filing, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins wrote that DePape’s intent with the attack “could not have been clearer.”

“He forced his way into the Pelosi home, intending to take the person third in-line to the presidency of the United States hostage and to seriously harm her,” Jenkins said. “Thwarted by Speaker Pelosi’s absence, [the] defendant continued on his quest and would not be stopped, culminating on the near-fatal attack on Mr. Pelosi.”

We are getting way too comfortable with treason and attacks on our democracy.

In 2016, the Russians tried to interfere in our election. They used disinformation campaigns and infiltrated information systems of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Clinton Campaign.

According to Robert Mueller’s official report, the investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

However, the report did state that Russian interference was illegal and occurred “in sweeping and systematic fashion. That allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

In October 2020, 13 men were arrested on the suspicion of orchestrating a domestic terror plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The Detroit News reported that the FBI said the group’s plan was to “violently overthrow the government, as well as kidnap and harm the Michigan governor.”

Two of the defendants were acquitted on all charges, while two other defendants had a deadlocked jury which resulted in a mistrial. They are awaiting retrial.

On Jan. 6, 2021, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the electoral process that elected Joe Biden as the next president.

According to Time Magazine, more than 840 people have been arrested for storming the Capitol. Of those, only 185 have received criminal sentences. The median prison sentence for the Jan. 6 rioters is 45 days. An additional 57 rioters have been sentenced to periods of home detentions, while most sentences have included fines, community service and prohibition for low-level offenses like illegally parading or demonstrating in the building, which is a misdemeanor.

For a country that, according to a World Prison Brief released in October 2021, leads the world in total number of people incarcerated, we sure are taking it easy on traitors and terrorists.

Committing treason or trying to violently disrupt American democracy is being treated with a slap on the wrist. The uncharacteristically soft sentencing from our court system is providing little deterrence from others who may look to commit horrific crimes in their plot to change the path of this country.

The attempt to mend the wound that divides us needs to begin with properly punishing those that are causing violent harm on their way to committing treason to the full extent of the law. Americans need to know that, when they are trying to bring down the republic, their actions will be met with a swift, severe and just response.

The midterm elections are setting up to be the calm before the storm of the 2024 presidential election. There is not a strong indication that the polarizing hatred between political parties is going to cool down any time soon. An attack against the person third-in-line to be the president is yet another blaring warning sign that this country is headed straight for a violent rift.

The power of persuasion for the indoctrinated electorate is starting to boil over into hostile and treacherous action.

I am not advocating for capital punishment or the unjust jailing of political dissidents. This is a plea to an already over-zealous American penal system to do what it is fundamentally designed for: Hold perpetrators to accountability by fair sentencing that also deters future crimes of the same nature.

Ignoring the gravity of these incidents only empowers future traitors.