This week on the eve of a special election the electorate was treated with the spectacle of a congressional candidate, Gianforte, assaulting a person, a reporter, for their presumed liberal politics. Repeatedly punching the man while shouting that he was ‘… sick and tired of your guys!’ Sadly the candidate still won his election but let’s look at this again.
There were unqualified condemnations of the assault from people presumably on the left side of the political spectrum. This sort of violence is utterly unacceptable and there needs to be serious consequences for the criminality. From the right I heard qualified condemnation and regret. Yes, this is bad and it shouldn’t have happened, but liberal have long poised the discourse and this is the result of that. (I’m going to set aside any validity to that position, that’s not the point today.)
I have unqualified condemnation for all political violence. Violence should be held in reserve until it is required to defend life and safety. You bring the very concept that violence is acceptable, in any form, to political discourse and you have taken the steps to a terrible future.
We have another incident 4 months ago.
Richard Spencer, arguably America’s leading Fascist, the man who led a room of people in the NAZI salute while shouting ‘Hail Trump!’ was assaulted on camera while being interviewed.
I heard many voices from the left offering with outright praise for this violence to very qualified condemnation, while voice on the right proclaimed the utterly unacceptability of violence based on the target’s political views.
I posted at the time that while Spencer is utterly reprehensible this violence was in no manner justified. I feel the exact same way about Gianforte’s assault on a reporter. My position is perfectly aligned with my principles in both cases.
Be wary of being so wedded to your team, of being so poised by your animosity, that you surrender your values. Without solid values there is nothing but naked raw ambition and power.