By: Luke Karnick
The shooting of Republican House and Senate members practicing baseball is without a doubt a hate crime. Individuals were targeted for murder simply because they were political conservatives. We really should stop acting surprised when leftists carry out acts of violence and hatred against conservatives or anyone to the right of Karl Marx, for that matter. Until the country’s leaders of all political persuasions emphatically denounce this violence and hatred against political opponents, it will continue and, more than likely, continue to grow.
Before the final shell casing even hit the ground, leftists across the nation were spouting their usual drivel of anti-fascist and anti-Trump talking points in the wake of this horrific act of terror. We are already seeing people claim that the GOP is receiving its just desserts for apparent sins against Marxist doctrine by promoting ideas countering the left’s agenda.
Leftists are not only instigating violence but canonizing it. Such hatred from the left is not a new concept. The Weather Underground, which rose to prominence in the 1970s, was one of the most notorious domestic terrorist organizations in U.S. history. This was a group of radicalized leftists bent on silencing and killing those who disagreed with their communist ideology or pushed any kind of conservative political agenda. In 1975 alone, the Weather Underground carried out between 25 and 45 bombings across the United States. Today, we are seeing groups with similarly radical agendas rising again to prominence. U.S. college campuses have recently become war zones, with leftist rioters preventing speeches by those who disagree with them, an echo of last year’s violence against Donald Trump supporters at campaign stops.
The anti-fascist group “Antifa” is an increasingly prominent and active group of sophomoric ruffians intent on silencing anyone with a view different from their own. Antifa members were involved in the recent riots at UC-Berkeley and several other clashes with non-socialists. These malcontents show their concern about their fellow man by, ironically, attempting to harm those who do not bend a knee to their political dogmas. This sums up today’s left perfectly: You’re not a person unless you think and act like us.
The leftist Democrat who shot at Republican lawmakers and others at a baseball field on June 14 upped the ante. He was a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Donald Trump, hated anyone who supported Trump, and wanted to bring harm to those who did not think the same way as he. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, asked Rep. Ron DeSantis on the field whether the people practicing baseball on that morning were Republicans or Democrats. On March 22 of this year, Hodgkinson wrote on Facebook, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” Just two days before the shooting, Hodgkinson wrote that President Donald Trump was “Truly the Biggest Ass Hole We Have Ever Had in the Oval Office.” Hodgkinson was a member of a Facebook group called Terminate the Republican Party, a name which he evidently took quite seriously.
Although Hodgkinson’s action goes well beyond even the recent riots, it is by no means disconnected from the left’s rhetoric of recent years. A high degree of moral superiority runs rampant through today’s left. The week before the shootings, socialist golden boy Bernie Sanders attempted to impose a horrifically unconstitutional religious litmus on Trump Office of Management and Budget deputy director nominee Russell Vought. Sanders characterized a past statement by Vought about the exclusivity of Christianity as “indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world,” and “this nominee is really not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about.” As The Atlantic reported, “The exchange shows just how tense the political environment under Trump has become. But it’s also evidence of the danger of using religion to deem someone unfit to serve in government.”
This sort of demonization of one’s opponents is endemic in today’s politics, but whereas open hatred and advocacy of violence on the right are largely confined to fringe groups, on the left the media and political class openly stoke the fires of violent and hatred on a daily basis. “Tense” indeed. Instead of condemning the assassination porn that is permeating our society today—such as the painfully unfunny Andy Dick doppelganger Kathy Griffin posing for a picture while holding a bloody prop head of President Trump—CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, sponsored a play for New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park in which a likeness of Donald Trump is assassinated. Many in the mainstream media openly laud these individuals as daring activists willing to stand up to a “fascist” regime.
Now Griffin, the producers of Shakespeare in the Park, and anyone else who has partaken in these despicable actions are watching their words come to life. One would hope that they would look on in disbelief and anger and begin to question their fomenting of hatred. Griffin’s apologetic response lasted for exactly one day. While condemning statements about Christian theological positions and depicting people who want to revise health care laws as murderers, today’s left ought to pause to think about their part in this rising tide of violence.
Either the left must express a renewed belief in representative democracy and acceptance of its outcomes, or it will become complicit in increasingly extreme and horrifying tactics in the effort to impose Social Justice Sharia Law.
Luke Karnick is the data graphics specialist and editorial associate for research editors at the Heritage Foundation. He has written for The Federalist and The Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News and Health Care News.