With nothing but three years of failure to campaign on, President Biden has made it clear that he intends to use January 6 as the theme of his reelection bid. The first evidence of that was his speech in Charleston on Monday, when he told the audience, “Let me say what others cannot: We must reject political violence in America. Always. Not sometimes — always.” Conservatives agree — we just didn’t wait until January 6 to say so.
Like most Americans, I thought the chaos created in the Capitol was foolish, and in some cases, criminal. But it was a riot, not an insurrection. You don’t stage an insurrection with signs, placards, and flags. The difference between many Republicans and President Biden is that we’ve been talking about the destructive nature of lawlessness for the last several years. But apparently, the burning down of major cities, the lobbing of Molotov cocktails, and destruction of federal property all went down the memory hole for the Left.
Now, suddenly, the legacy media has decided to care about these things, running headlines like The Washington Post’s, “Violent Political Threats Surge as 2024 Begins Haunting American Democracy.” The article starts with the story of Rusty Bowers, former speaker of the Arizona House and the latest victim of “swatting” that we’ve seen across America. “It was one of many violent threats and acts of intimidation that have defined the lives of various government officials since the 2020 election,” they claimed.
According to them, these political attacks just started. That’s interesting, since it was eight years earlier when, inspired by the radical Southern Poverty Law Center, a gunman followed SPLC’s “hate map” to Family Research Council and shot one of our employees. Armed with 100 rounds of ammunition, Floyd Corkins said his goal was to “kill as many people as possible.”
Despite that and so many other horrifying incidents, Steven Levitsky, a Harvard professor, suggested in the article that “while violent threats span the political spectrum, the ‘vast majority’ come from activists on and others on the far right.”
Does the entire Left suffer from clinical amnesia? When then-House Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot at a congressional baseball practice in 2017, it wasn’t a threat from the “far right.” It was a politically-motivated attack that almost took my good friend’s life. And after it happened, what did Democrats do? They fanned the flames.
High-ranking officials like former Attorney General Eric Holder seconded Hillary Clinton’s call for incivility, telling a rowdy crowd to start roughing up conservatives in 2018 — two years before the supposed genesis of all political violence. “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high,’” Holder told the audience. “No. No. When they go low, we kick them!”
This is the same party who told Americans to get up in people’s faces. “You have to be ready to throw a punch,” former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said. “Push back on them,” Democrat Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) coached the crowd. “Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” “[We’ll] fight Trump… in the streets,” Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) vowed. “Get up in their face,” Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) demanded. Even the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, encouraged the Left to loot, burn, and torment their opponents. “I support them,” she said.
And what about the hostility toward the newest members of the Supreme Court? Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) openly declared that Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh “will pay a price” for not supporting abortion. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,” he fumed, escalating tensions that were already evident outside the justices’ homes. But sure, it’s Trump supporters who “embrace political violence.”
Over at Reuters, reporters claims this all started with Biden’s predecessor. “Incidents of political violence began rising in 2016,” Gary LaFree argued, “around the time of Trump’s first run for the presidency.”
But let’s consider the context. In the summer of 2020, 140 American cities were torched in the most expensive explosion of civil disobedience, rioting, and looting that’s ever taken place in the country. As many as two dozen people died as a result of the mayhem unleashed after George Floyd’s death, causing $2 billion dollars worth of damage. But the media doesn’t factor in any of this. Nor do they take into account the hostility against pro-lifers since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which has yet to earn a footnote in their distorted reporting.
In The Washington Times, experts on violence called for bipartisan solutions. Here’s a solution. This one goes back to the very first president of the United States, George Washington. In his farewell address, he says, “Of all of the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” He continues, “And let us with caution, indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion …”
In other words, the very thing our country needs is being driven out, and that is a recognition of God and religion — allowing people to live out their faith in such a way that it affects the world around them. That, my friends, is the answer to incivility, lawlessness, and division.
Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.
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