Congressman Steven Scalise has been shot. Sadly, we knew this day would come — the perpetration of extreme violence by someone ostensibly associated with left. Under these conditions, in a nation of three hundred million people, it was inevitble. And we knew what would happen shortly thereafter — condemnation by the right, not (only) of the perpetrator, but of the entire liberal community for allegedly promulgating a climate of violence in which such things can happen. The period of unified mourning lasted about twelve seconds. Thanks be to the almighty Newt Gingrich for yet another display of mindless, arrogant stupidity.
So let’s get something straight. During the last three decades, we’ve witnessed thirty thousand violent deaths by gunfire each year, with nothing but lies and retrenchment from the NRA and right. We’ve witnessed mulitple mass shootings every year — virtually every one of them perpetrated by someone associated with right-wing ideology. We’ve witnessed the rise of instutionalized hate speech from Republican propaganda outlets like Fox News, Breitbart, and the Excellence in Broadcasting Network — outlets that are designed to trigger an undercurrent of violence and hatred in their respective constituencies through defamation, dissembling, and sheer idiocy. We’ve witnessed the conduct of two unwarranted, unjustified, and unbelievably destructive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with little thought or preparation for the phyical, psychological, and financial consequences that would ensue here at home. We’ve witnessed the bifurcation of society into the extremely rich and the poor — a result that has been sought after and applauded by the GOP since the Reagan Administration gave us voodoo economics and plausible deniability. We’ve witnessed the utter destruction of comity and rote functionality in Congress by the Republican Party, who has cravenly misused and abused the powers of government to further their own aims in direct contravention of the will of the American people. We’ve witnessed the slow erosion of confidence in science and evidence through transparently idiotic attempts to undermine the nearly unanimous scientific consensus in global warming, biological evolution, herd immunity, and the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state, which isn’t scientific, but work with me on this.
And now, at the logical end of these three decades of misguided, hypocritical, and profoundly un-American behavior, we witness the rise of Donald Trump — a proud, arrogant misogynist and bigot, a man whose entire campaign was predicated on fear, a crass advocate for violence at his rallies, and a man so horrendously unqualified to hold the office of President that the rest of the world — and the vast majority of the citizens of this country — have lost faith in the ability of the United States to act as the leader of the free world, let alone to govern itself. In the wake of his campaign, we’ve witnessed a tremendous upsurge in hate crimes around the nation perpetrated by extreme right-wing white neo-nazi fascists who have responded to Trump’s America First pablum with the worst sort of craven, violent stupdity. The KKK is newly ascendent, the Proud Boys are really proud, and at least two white nationalists have the ear of the president inside the West Wing.
Aside from utter despair, the left’s virtually unanimous response to this has been the organization of worldwide peaceful protests, a tremendous upsurge in subscriptions to fact-based journalism, and a new imperative to restore faith in our time-honored institutions through civic involvement and grass-roots organizing.
Actions speak louder than words, and as a gun-totin’, violence-propagatin’, miguided moron of a homunculus, the asshat who shot up the congressional ball game has nothing in common with liberalism at all, no matter what he may have thought or said. It is perfectly obvious, however, that like all of us, he had been subject to the climate of fear and hatred that unquestionably exists in our country today, and that Donald Trump has done his best to exacerbate — on purpose — with nearly every single action he has taken since beginning his campaign.
So let’s be absolutely clear about this. Anybody who believes that liberalism is responsible for the climate of hatred in this country is utterly, completely, and irreparably full of shit.