Several Democratic representatives in the United States fear for their lives after last week’s attack on the Capitol. Not only do they fear a new danger from outside, but also extreme Republican colleagues who would display threatening behavior.
Fear still rules in political Washington. After the outrage over the storming of the Capitol by extreme supporters of President Donald Trump, a number of Democratic members of the US Congress are now terrified that some of their Republican colleagues might take their lives.
Virginia State Democratic Delegate Don Beyer hit the nail on the head. “Some of us are worried our own colleagues might shoot them. This is the most toxic atmosphere I have ever experienced,” he told NBC news.
There is a general sense of insecurity because some Republican colleagues are carrying guns, Beyer said. “And probably those are the ones who subscribe to conspiracy theories and believe QAnon about pedophile satanic rings. Are we safe from them?”
According to QAnon conspiracy theorists, any politician who opposes Donald Trump is a priori suspect and most likely involved in a vast satanic conspiracy to stop this president from fighting pedophilia and the ‘deep state’.
Some Democrats in Congress suggest – the allegations are unproven – that far-right colleagues and sympathizers of the Capitol Stormers may have helped plan or supervise the attack.
Thirty delegates have now signed a petition for a formal investigation into this. Beyer said the fact that security gates with metal detectors have been placed in the Capitol does not lessen the feeling of fear.
One of the people frightening colleagues is said to be Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, a former QAnon sympathizer and fierce opponent of installing metal detectors in the Capitol.
Boebert has emphatically distanced herself from QAnon on several occasions but refuses to go through the detectors because she has the right to carry a gun.
There are more Republicans who reject the safety gates for that reason. They have since been fined for it.
Those who refuse to pass through the metal detector the first time will pay 5,000 dollars, the second time 10,000, according to Chamber President Nancy Pelosi.
In an interview on CNN last night, Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, also cast himself as a spokesman for colleagues who are too afraid to appear on camera about this. “I can confirm that my colleagues are afraid of other members of Congress. They are already being called names by some, harassed, and followed with phone cameras. And now those people don’t want to go through the gates with metal detectors. After all that has happened, it is the least you can do. We are living in hyper-anxious times. When you are so scared, you see danger everywhere. The whole country suffers, including members of Congress. I am not afraid, but I know plenty of colleagues who are.”
Republican delegates who did not vote against Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings have also reportedly been threatened in recent days via social media and even at home by extremists who believe that Donald Trump and not Joe Biden should be president.