America is recovering from a recent shooting in which a man with white supremacist leanings opened fire on innocent people in El Paso, Texas, while someone with possible left-leaning beliefs slaughtered more in Dayton, Ohio, just hours later.
We are not too far removed from an avowed leftist opening fire on Republican congressmen, nearly killing Steve Scalise. Other shootings, bombings, vehicular homicides, gang violence, and more have left hundreds in America dead over the past few years.
In an era where we are absolutely seeing people who are deeply troubled and prone to dehumanizing others before slaughtering them, what Joaquin Castro, a Democratic congressman from Texas, did yesterday is reprehensible.
Castro’s Twitter account, which has over 24,000 followers, posted a list of private San Antonio citizens who have donated to Donald Trump. He, essentially, posted a hitlist for anyone who was interested in getting rid of Trump supporters.
You can call this accusation extreme. I pray that no one actually goes through with what I’m saying here. But we clearly live in a period where people will absolutely seek to destroy the lives of private citizens over their support of Trump or anything that they don’t like.
At a time when any politician in Texas, a state that has the largest border with Mexico and sees the bulk of the nation’s immigration debate arguing over its backyard, should be praying for unity and pushing for peace, Castro has decided to take gasoline and throw it on the fire.
At best, this is reckless and irresponsible. At worst, it’s willingly handing a lunatic an invitation to destroy someone’s life.
What’s worse is that there are people out right now defending Castro’s post, simply because donor lists are public record. But, where someone’s name can be found online does not render them a public figure whose life is an open book you’ve been invited to read and tear the pages from. These are people who donated money to someone they agree with or like. If you want to say “They’re supporting a racist,” fine. Do that. But you don’t post their names all over social media in order to attract others to come and protest their choice to support a politician.
Perhaps it should shock me that people in our media are even so openly defending Castro’s tweet. A younger, naive me might beg them to see that what they are doing is wrong. But, the ones who are okay with this – even so soon after one (maybe two) politically-motivated mass shootings – are the same ones who, at the height of a previous gun debate, supported the New York Times posting a list of every gun owner in New York.
They are the ones who refused to condemn Antifa activists who firebombed an ICE facility (in fact, it was barely touched on in mainstream cable news), assaulted a right-leaning reporter, destroyed private property in several protests, and made public threats against Republican citizens.
They were fine with private citizens getting harassed if they supported Prop 8 in California. They showed very little concern for protestors attacking Tucker Carlson’s private home.
It is, therefore, an endorsement of whatever violence may come from Castro’s tweet. They are okay with what comes next. If they are so blind as to actually think that only unhinged people on the right do this, then there are dark days ahead for us all.
The people who commit these politically-motivated attacks are unhinged. They don’t believe that all lives have value. They have spent too much time soaking in political ideologies from social media and websites that exist only in their bubble. They believe that this talk of “enemies” in politics is very real. And they decide to handle the problem themselves.
If he hasn’t done so by the time you read this column, Castro should delete the tweet and apologize to the citizens of his district. Not just the ones outed on this hitlist, but to all of them. He has just proven to them that they are expendable if they dare support Donald Trump. That is not the sign of a politician trying to make the country better. It is a sign of a selfish man who wants to rule by the same fear and division he accuses Trump of ruling by.
It is a sign of a man who should resign his position in Congress. He is clearly losing his mind.
If this is where political rhetoric is headed in our country, we are screwed.