Letter: No “both sides” argument about political violence

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2022

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There are nut cases on both sides of the political aisle who commit or advocate for violence, but there is no legitimate “both sides” argument about political violence. Threats against members of Congress have increased ten-fold since Trump’s election, mainly against Democrats, but also against Republicans who told the truth about the 2020 election, voted to impeach Donald Trump, or whom Trump attacked at his rallies of on “Truth Social.”

In 2021 the New America think tank found that since Sept. 11, 2001, far-right terrorists had killed 122 people in the U. S. compared to one killed by far-leftists. Also in 2021 the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that, since 2015, right-wing extremists had been involved in 267 plots or attacks compared with 66 far-left extremists. It is reasonable to assume the preponderance of far-right attacks has continued since that time.

Fort percent of Republicans express support for violence while only 23% of Democrats do, and Democrats expressing support for violence is largely in response to Republicans advocating violence. MAGA Congressional election deniers use polarizing language at nearly triple the rate as Democrats and Republicans routinely create political ads holding or firing guns and using violent rhetoric against their Democratic opponents or others. If there are comparable ads by Democrats, I have not seen them. No Democratic presidential candidate in my 74 years of memory has led “lock him/her up” chants against anyone, has told his supporters to beat people up, or has ever said the “Second Amendment” people could do something about his opponent. There was a time Republicans in leadership would not have tolerated such language and actions among their members.

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Democracies use the vote rather than violence to determine who rules their countries. But Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ginni Thomas and others have supported the idea that the duly elected Nancy Pelosi, as well as Joe Biden should be executed. Because of the “Big Lie” — debunked by Trump’s own campaign, his political advisors, his Justice Department and even his daughter, but still pushed by Trump and media outlets for political gain and profit — Paul Pelosi is in critical condition in a hospital today.

Lonna Gooden Van Horn