Man Arrested After Sen. Ted Cruz Punches ‘White Claw’ At Houston Astros Parade
“As always, I am grateful to the Houston Police Department and the Capitol Police for their swift action,” Cruz tweeted. “I’m also thankful that the clown who threw his White Claw had a noodle for an arm.”
Politicians and other civil servants have been attacked in public before: eggs, pies, books, shoes and glitter bombs are some common items.
But researchers say the current political climate is unique.
“I see something different this time,” said Spencer Overton, a law professor at George Washington University.
He said America is experiencing cultural anxiety like never before, and people are engaging in political violence to preserve their identity.
Videos posted online show the crowd booing Cruz during the second part of the parade.
In the deep red state, Joe Biden won Harris County — which includes Houston — by more than 10 points in the 2020 presidential election.
Harris County has also hosted some of the fiercest political battles in Texas, including Republicans by deploying election observers to supervise the handling of ballots. Democrats worry the observers could intimidate voters, but Republicans say they are trying to ensure the integrity of the vote.
Tensions are high locally and nationally ahead the next election on Tuesday.
One in five adults in the United States would be willing to tolerate acts of political violence, according to survey of 8,500 people led by Garen J. Wintemute, director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Program and an emergency physician.
And while there is a step between condoning and perpetrating political violence, Wintemute said that supporting violence creates a climate of acceptance of violence. “I expect to see sporadic acts of violence around the midterm elections,” he said.
A database published last month by Princeton University, tracked 400 cases of political violence against government officials.
“One of our findings is that people are using political violence and threats as a political strategy, rather than using the ballot box,” said Joel Day, the database’s director of research. “Threats and violence never refer only to the officer on whom they are focused. They are designed to discourage people from participating in the democratic process.”
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