A child comes home from school, says he’s going to beat up the kid who called him a name. The mother sits down with the child, offers him a piece of cheese and a juice box and explains to him that there are other, better ways to resolve his differences with the other child. She talks about finding the reason why the other kid called him a name, talks about him sitting down with the other kid and maybe a mediator, to talk about their differences. And she explains to him that violence is never the answer, that violence will only lead to more violence and that eventually someone will get hurt, perhaps badly.
Okay, sure … that’s the fairy tale scenario, but believe it or not, similar scenarios are happening as we speak around the nation today and every day. But … among the so-called adults in the room? HAH!!!
Violence. It has become a part of life in our society, has become the accepted way of resolving disputes and differences, especially when it comes to politics. A few examples:
- The Republican candidate for governor in Wisconsin, Tim Michels, angry about a story published by a local newspaper calling out his contributions to anti-abortion groups, is calling for people to take up “pitchforks and torches”. “I believe people should just, just be ready to get out on the streets with pitchforks and torches with how low the liberal media has become.”
- Says Florida governor Ron DeSantis about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading virologist in this nation … “And I’m just sick of seeing him. I know he said he’s going to retire. Someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.”
- In Idaho last November, Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland threatened a carful of teens with a gun. The then-sheriff pointed a gun at a vehicle containing seven girls and their church group leader and said, “I will f—ing shoot you.” Their crime? They placed a “thankful turkey” on his front door as a part of a neighborhood goodwill effort. Rowland has since been relieved of his duties and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
These are just a few examples of people in public office, elected officials, blatantly inciting violence. Consider Lindsey Graham who … threatened? … promised? … that if Trump were indicted on the many potential charges facing him, “there’ll be riots in the streets.”
DAMMIT, people!!! WE THE PEOPLE work our asses off every day to pay these people’s salaries, to pay for them to fly across the ocean on a whim, to pay for them to wine and dine diplomats and others … and this is how they repay us? By inciting violence, by calling for people to come after us with pitchforks and guns and whatever the hell else they have in their arsenals?
I don’t know about you guys, but I find it completely unacceptable and a heinous crime against the people of this nation for an elected public official, whether a sheriff, governor, or a member of Congress, to call for violence! This nation is currently in a state of turmoil, thanks largely to right-wing radicals, and the politicians who call for violence are throwing fuel on the fire.
Worse yet … we are seeing the results across the nation. It takes little or nothing to spur such groups as the Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and others into action, but today even the average Joe is angry, and it doesn’t take much for him to pick up that AR-15 or his trusty Glock and head out the door with a lust for violence.
We are a nation of angry people on both sides of the political spectrum. There are more guns in this nation than there are people. That’s a bad enough recipe for disaster, but add in the people we elected to public office telling us to get out there and take our revenge and … is it any wonder that gun violence has increased? Where are we headed? Back to firebombing homes and schools as was the case in 1960s Mississippi? More children dead in school shootings? A world where it’s not safe to walk down the street or shop in a grocery store?
I don’t care where your ideology falls on the political spectrum, I think most sensible people agree that violence is NOT going to solve our problems but will only exacerbate them. When our elected leaders are the ones calling for and supporting calls for violence, then this country has bigger problems than we thought. Are our leaders really so stupid that the only way they can think of to respond to ideas with which they disagree is to call for violence? I believe that any public official who calls for or in any way promotes violence should be immediately removed from his office. Period. We need peacemakers, not warmongers.