If you are a casual observer of US politics, and if you paid even a little attention to the 2016 election, you likely heard a particular narrative from the media and the culture. It was one that painted republicans, and especially Donald Trump, as promoting fear and hate. My social media feed was aflame with posts from people accusing the now president of being a racist, inciting violence, and stoking the fears of his crazed party base. The democrats and Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, were the ones promoting love and acceptance.
“Love trumps hate” said the bumper stickers. Even this week, former president Barack Obama said in a campaign speech “…you can choose…an America where love and hope conquer hate.”
“I’m so sad,” a personal friend wrote the day after the election. “Hate and fear won.”
While I can understand the disappointment, the irony was not lost on me. Since the election, we have seen much anger on the part of the left. And it has gotten to a point I don’t believe we’ve ever seen.
Senator Ted Cruz and his wife were run out of a restaurant in Washington recently by leftist protestors. And Senator Mitch McConnel was likewise forced to leave a restaurant over the summer by protestors with a bullhorn. As was White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Democrat congresswoman Maxine Waters seemed to encourage this very thing not long ago.
“And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Republican Senator Susan Collins received numerous threats during the Kavanaugh hearings, including a letter that claimed to contain poison.
Speaking of the Kavanaugh hearings, leftist protestors were seen confronting and screaming at Senator Jeff Flake on one occasion. While dozens were arrested for disorderly conduct for attempting to disrupt the confirmation vote.
A left-leaning teacher in Minnesota resigned after calling for Kavanaugh’s assassination on Twitter, while a Steven Colbert Late Show writer said that even though he was confirmed, “I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh’s life.”
A democratic operative in Nevada was recently arrested for physically assaulting a female campaign manager for the republican candidate for Governor.
Senator Rand Paul was attacked and beaten in his front yard last year by a man who disagreed with him politically. The attack left him hospitalized with serious injuries.
And then there was what Hillary Clinton said recently, when asked about the left being more civil with those they disagree with.
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” she said on CNN. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”
And this is concerning. Because Mrs. Clinton is one of the chief spokesmen for the left. After all, she was their presidential nominee two years ago. She is – I believe – letting her guard down a little bit in telling us what she and her party believe about those they disagree with.
This is to say nothing of the protests and riots in the days after the presidential election, or the mass shooting at a republican charity baseball practice by a far-left activist. I could go on with numerous other examples.
Whatever you call this, it certainly is not “love” or “acceptance” or “tolerance.”
I’ve heard the left’s claim on these virtues for years; but I’ve observed that what they really mean is loving and accepting if you agree with them. Friend, may we never be found guilty of the same.
As long as we are unwilling to calmly listen to and engage in respectful debate with others, we will not make any progress as a society. If we shut our ears to opposing views and demand our way, how will that help anyone?
Be alert and be discerning of the actions taken over the lofty words. Be wary of falling for a narrative painted by those who speak against hate, while engaging in it and encouraging it themselves.