Jacob Burris, an Arkansas Democratic campaign manager, came home one very cold day this past January to find his cat mutilated on his doorstep with the word “liberal” etched into its body. Democrat Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ Fort Worth office was firebombed by Molotov cocktails several weeks ago. Former Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was gunned down in a Tucson parking lot in January 2011. And Oscar Ortega was sentenced to 25 years in prison for firing a semi-automatic assault rifle at the residential quarters of the White House in November 2011.
It’s interesting – and, of course, good – that I haven’t seen any comparable national headlines about Republican politicians.
Every assassin or terrorist involved in these atrocities has been labeled mentally unstable or insane. So, insanity has driven these recent attacks on Democrats. They weren’t politically motivated at all, apparently. Nevertheless, I still wonder if the current rhetoric against Democrats might also have had the slightest little something to do with them.
I frequently hear high-ranking Republicans say President Obama is the single greatest threat ever to this country. That Democrats are baby killers who want to take all your money, confiscate your guns and murder your grandparents with Medicare death panels. When respected political leaders are relentlessly saying the current president and his party are basically worse than Hitler, why is it impossible that this kind of vitriol might scare or influence people into committing mentally unstable acts?
Despite being branded worse than the 9-11 terrorists by the Republican leadership, as a Democrat the most important thing to me is that any legally elected politician remain safely in office until they are lawfully voted out. After all, if we kill or terrorize our political opponents, how are we any different from what Syrian President Bashar Assad or the Myanmar military junta are currently doing to theirs?