Last week, Americans were terrorized by mad men yet again. Across the nation, about 15 leading Trump critics received bombs by mail – none that reached their intended target nor detonated – at the hands of Cesar Sayoc of Florida. Then, just days later, Robert D. Bowers opened fire at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, taking the lives of 11 worshipers and injuring six others. Immediately, such liberal outlets as MSNBC came out against President Trump, laying the blame for the recent acts firmly at his feet, in light of his “heated rhetoric.” Are they right?
MSNBC host Katy Tur said, “It’s pretty clear when you’re talking about this toxic political environment that it did start with Donald Trump.” She then noted the repeated “lock her up” charges at his rallies, targeting Hillary Clinton.
Tur seems to suffer from acute amnesia.
When James Hodgkinson, a far-left supporter of Bernie Sanders, opened fire on congressional Republicans on a softball field in 2017, was that motivated by President Trump? Was it Trump’s fault that Minnesota Democrat leaders said Republicans should “go to the guillotine”? Was it Trump who harassed Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell while eating dinner with their wives? And was it the President who inspired Democrat Maxine Waters to call for Democrats to keep Republicans out of their places of business or Hillary Clinton to call for an end to civility until Democrats win office or Eric Holder to call for Democrats to “kick Republicans” at every chance?
Writing for Townhall, Matt Vespa said it well. “Don’t lecture me about turning down the rhetoric when you people have become unspooled because Hillary didn’t win an election. Also, Left Wing America, you fired first – with an actual gun – and people were injured, nearly killed. So, spare us your ‘thank God for me’ attitude. It’s nauseating. As for the media, no one trusts you, so quit telling us Trump is to blame for everything.”
The media has a selective memory when it comes to reporting high-pitched political rhetoric.
Should President Trump tone it down a bit? Sure, he should. And recently, he has. But as long as crazy conservatives attack with rhetoric and crazy liberals attack with bullets, let’s not act as though the vitriol that has contaminated the modern political landscape can be laid at the feet of just one man – or one party.