It’s imperative that psychologists start to speak out so that it can be clearly emphasized and clearly understood that unbalanced individuals, such as the Maryland perpetrator, can easily be triggered by violent rhetoric such as that recently spewed forth by Maxine Waters and others, which encouraged aggressive mobs to lash out against those currently occupying prominent spots in public office.
The important psychological point that these individuals such as Waters do not realize is that one can never predict who is going to be triggered by this kind of rhetoric and where those actions will be played out. That’s what is so misguided about Waters’ reckless actions: In her eagerness to grab the spotlight (I’ve known her since early Los Angeles days and she’s had very little of the spotlight throughout her long career, generally because she could rarely put two words together in a coherent sentence), she has reached far past the pale of freedom of speech and into threatening speech. It’s time that we psychologists make clear that this kind of action can trigger unbalanced individuals anywhere and that the results can never be predicted other than there will be violence and, generally, it will be against innocent “bystanders” to the events where Maxine Waters was grabbing for more press play.
It’s definitely time to stop the horribleness of threatening speech, where desperate politicians and actors encourage the deranged (or, one could say, “the others who are deranged,” as these individuals are, themselves, deranged) to lash out at innocent people. STOP IT. AND STOP IT NOW!
TRIGGER POINTS, aggressive mobs, violent rhetoric