Symbolism matters

From national flags to corporate logos, symbols are a big deal, because people pick up the messages they convey. says (here), “Symbols are important because they facilitate communication and identification of ideas and other concepts based on what those symbols represent, though they can have literal as well as figurative meanings. Symbols can be used to signify individuals, groups of people, organizations or more ambiguous concepts.”

In Congress, now-retired Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) displayed a snowball in 2014 to symbolize his disdain for concern about climate change. And this week, newly-elected Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL), photo above, passed around dummy grenades (photo below) with a note saying, “Let’s come together and get to work on behalf of our constituents” (read story here). Does anyone need that symbolizes interpreted?

These days, rightwingers show up at public buildings with guns. They talk about “civil war.” They violently assaulted the U.S. Capitol in a failed attempt to subvert Biden’s election.

And when Republicans took over the House in January 2023, their very first acts were to remove the metal detectors and reinstate two members removed from committees for encouraging violence against Democrats.

The Republican Party has become deeply aligned with political violence. This isn’t something the Democrats or liberal media foisted on them. It’s an identity they’ve chosen for themselves, promoted by members like Cory Mills. The symbolism of all this says, if you don’t let us have our way, we’re going to murder you.

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