It has been my long-held practice not to associate those who commit political violence with the legitimate political forces in our society. Dangerous nut cases affix themselves to all sides of the multiple partisan divides. They range from common criminals – such as the vandals, looters and arsonists we see in those all too frequent riots – to the truly psychotic – as seen in the shooting of the Republican congressmen a little more than one year ago.
It is too easy to use the overheated political rhetoric of our times to blame the proverbial ”other side” for partisan advantage – whether it is the bellicosity of President Trump or the calls for physical confrontation by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Neither of these people – or even those who say worse on social media – is to blame for criminal acts of violence. That threshold can only be crossed by the perpetrators of violence, themselves.
Whether these perpetrators take misguided solace or encouragement from what they hear or see in society, their actions are of their own making. The Unabomber claimed to be fighting against alleged industrial polluters so often vilified by anti-corporate left-wing politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren. The man who attempted to kill a group of Republican congressmen was a staunch supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders – and it occurred at a time when MSNBC and CNN were excoriating congressional Republicans as hateful people who are wreaking havoc on seniors, the infirmed and women. Does that make Warren, Sanders and the left-wing media complicit in those acts of violence?
(My mind’s ear hears a lot of people yelling “Hell yes, it does!” But no, it does not.)
We have to remember that violence is the malignant product of a disturbed mind. It does not really matter what the self-proclaimed objective might be. That is only the rationale … the excuse … the façade of justification. If there is a universal motivation it is more likely the need to overcome a sense of inferiority – of social impotence – and/or a need to draw even negative attention to their feeling of insignificance.
It is important that we keep in mind that the results of violence based on some policy or partisan grievance rarely, if ever, benefits the proclaimed political cause. More often than not, it provides a perverse opportunity for political benefit to the opposition side. While the media is viewing the perpetrator as some right-wing supporter of Trump, it is beyond refutation that the person has brought down maximum negative speculation on Trump and conservatives – even to the point that many predict it will impact on GOP fortunes in the upcoming midterm elections.
Though the distribution of the devices has obvious political overtones, we should not allow this crime to be politicized. That is why the response of the Democratic Party leadership – and especially their media mouthpieces – to the recent rash of bomb scares is so hypocritical, destructive and repulsive. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel – and one-time chief-of-staff for President Obama – famously said that his political party should “never waste a good crisis.” Today, we see that strategy being played out across the land, across our television screens and across the pages of the liberal press.
To understand what is so bad about the Democrat’s reaction, we need to address the words and actions of their targets – Trump, GOP leaders and the millions who call themselves Republicans.
Upon the first reports of mail bombs – real or fake – being sent to the most prominent Democrats in America – Trump issued a pitch-perfect response. He called for national unity against such acts of violence and terrorism and assured the nation that the full resources of the Executive Branch – which includes the FBI, Homeland Security and the Justice Department – will be unleashed to find and prosecute the perpetrator.
That statement has been noticeably missing or minimized by the Anti-Trump press. It has been replaced by Trump’s later off-the-cuff comments at an iconic rally in which he said that the news media shares responsibility for the hostile political climate. To maximize the negative political impact on Trump, virtually every report on CNN and MSNBC was taken out of context to make it seem more inflammatory that it was. In other cases, Trump’s comments were misrepresented (spun) without any video of his actual comments.
That characteristic left-wing bias against Trump was reflected in a commentary I wrote entitled “Please stop making me defend Trump.” I have been a constantly harsh critic of Trump’s pugnacious personality, but that gets offset by not only the mendacious and partisan attacks on Trump by the left-wing media but, by extension, the constant attacks on all those who support Trump policies. – people like me. Though the Democrats saw the error of referring to us as a “basket of deplorables,” they continue to slander us every day in that same spirit. Yes, the media has angered and enraged those of us who consider ourselves to be conservative Republicans – and they have been doing long before Trump announced his candidacy for President.
As one of the nameless targets of their broad-brush smear on conservative Republicans, I can attest to the fact that I have been outraged by the follow up reports on the bomb spree.
The media likes to absolve itself by simply declaring that Trump started all this. Their accusation has all the credibility of a witness to a barroom fight saying who started the brawl. I would say that Trump’s rhetoric — over-the-top as it is — has been more of a response to the longstanding left-wing bias of too much of the media and their exaggerated partisan attacks on Republicans and conservatives. For the left-wing media, Trump is merely the personification of the historical disdain much of the media has exhibited for Republicans and conservatives.
In terms of the press, the assault on all that is Trump began even when they determined him to be a hopeless and hapless candidate. One should recall how the Huffington Post announced that he would not even be covered as a political candidate, but the assignment would be given to their entertainment reporters.
No sooner do the Democrats pay lip service to the need to reduce the intensity of the rhetoric than they go on their own over-the-top screeds against Trump and Republicans. In response to Trump’s condemnation of violence and his call for unity, Senate and House leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi responded by tossing the olive branch into the fire of heated rhetoric. They totally dismissed Trump’s statement as “hollow,” and issued a statement that was more like a prosecutorial indictment – falsely blaming the bombs on Trump as if he had made them himself.
That Schumer/Pelosi statement opened the floodgate of similarly nasty accusatory language. CNN and MSNBC brought on their own panels of parroting pundits to repeat ad nausea the same anti-Trump, anti-Republican narratives. There were no counterpoints – no expressions of alternative viewpoints. Just one talking head after another trying to say the same thing in different words.
It did not matter that the Democrats were in the incongruous position of calling for calm and a return to civility even as they intensified their own partisan assaults – using their supposedly fair and balanced media as their most vicious political attack dogs. In the very first reports, the media pointed a crooked accusatory finger at Trump, Republican leaders and people like me. And then they wonder why conservatives get upset?
For many Americans – including any with a modicum of objectivity – the response of the media to the bomb scare tends to give credibility to Trump’s complaints and criticisms. He may be too brash in the use of provocative words, but his basic concern does have validity.
So, there ‘tis!