Is Violence the New Normal?
California’s Rudy Peters was supposed to be running for Congress — not running for his life. But late Sunday, he was doing both after a scary encounter with the latest rabid liberal fanatic. What should have been a simple campaign stop at the Castro Valley Fall Festival turned violent when police say Farzad Fazeli lunged at Peters and pulled out a switchblade, screaming profanity about Donald Trump.
It was a surreal scene, the latest in a string of unimaginable harassment from the Left.
Fortunately for Peters, the switchblade malfunctioned. And when Fazeli decided to throw mugs instead, a quick-thinking Peters used a campaign sign to defend himself.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) wasn’t so lucky in 2017, when an armed madman shot him and others at a congressional baseball practice. He, more than anyone, understands where the rising violence could lead. His story, which very nearly ended in a D.C. hospital after multiple gunshot wounds, should have been a moment of national clarity. Instead, the attacks grew — inspired, in a large part, by Democrats’ own leaders!
Americans watched in astonishment as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) stoked the fire, urging liberals to initiate more confrontations. “If you see anybody from [the Trump]cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd,” the congresswoman added. “And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome any more, anywhere!” Her troops listened, heckling conservatives in public places all across the country.
“It’s time to escalate the expression of our outrage and our anger in a massive way,” the Huffington Post suggested.
Trump supporters have dodged bricks, eggs, punches — the worst the Left had to deliver. An NRA lobbyist came home to fake blood spray-painted on his house, while White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was driven out of the Red Hen Restaurant by intolerant owners who refused to serve her. People heckled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House advisor Stephen Miller at dinners in D.C.
Things got so out of hand that even the Washington Post called on liberals to please just “Let the Trump Team Eat in Peace.”
In other states, attorneys general were chased out of movie theaters, shouted down by protestors, even run off the road. And why not? New Jersey’s “Spartacus,” Sen. Cory Booker (D), was urging voters to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wondered “why there aren’t uprisings all over the country.” Well, she’s getting her wish. And victims like Steve Scalise are disgusted. “Some on the Left are inciting this violence, and frankly they should be called out on it.” The Louisiana congressman, who nearly died at the hands of a man who took the resistance a little too seriously, demanded that Democrats put a stop to it.
“You’ve got some people on the Left, that just want this idea of resist and ignore the fact that [Trump] is president, they want to interrupt the ability of congress to do its job and of course you’ve got death threats and literal attacks on lives and frankly I want to see the Left stand up to this,” Scalise said.
News outlets like Politico warn about the last time liberals got nasty. “History shows why liberals shouldn’t take the low road,” they caution. Apart from the civil unrest, it’s also just a terrible idea politically. Thanks to groups like Antifa, Republicans have piles of footage to choose from for new ads, everything from personal attacks and riots to property damage.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new. The Obama administration spent eight years demeaning opponents, resorting to labels to try to dehumanize people. In the end, that only made it easier to attack them. Now, the hostility is so rampant that even Hollywood celebrities feel comfortable calling for the president’s assassination. “Where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him?” actress Carole Cook told TMZ.
As we’ve said from the beginning, there is absolutely no room for violence in a civil society — on either side. “When you’re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, there’s something wrong,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) told Politico. “The next people are going to come with guns. That’s what’s going to happen.” Or, as Rudy Peters will tell you, knives.
Published with permission, Family Research Council, Washington Update, September 12, 2018, 801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, 1-800-225-4008, www.frc.org. Tony Perkins and FRC Senior Staff, Guest Columnists
The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. Contact them at CenterForSelfGovernance.com