Americans need to rein in over-the-top, divisive rhetoric – OCRegister

Americans need to rein in over-the-top, divisive rhetoric – OCRegister

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If you want to place blame for the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, look around: It’s everyone.
While ultimately any responsibility is that of the person committing the crime, there’s no question our toxic political climate played a role.
The attacker, who broke into the Pelosi home with an ill conceived, yet evil, plot to kidnap and torture Nancy and brutally attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer instead, had plans to go after other politicians next, according to prosecutors.
There seems to be no doubt about his mental state. A San Francisco Chronicle headline said it all: “Ex-girlfriend of suspect in Paul Pelosi attack says he struggled with mental illness, drugs, believed he was ‘Jesus for a year.’”
But instead of coming together, wishing the best for the Pelosi family – he was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery – and beefing up security for politicians and their families where appropriate, too many have used it as a way to gain political advantage and/or attention.
Facing what’s shaping up to be an electoral bloodbath at the polls, President Joe Biden blamed the whole thing on Republicans in an effort to deflect from a tanking economy.
“We must with an overwhelming voice stand against political violence and voter intimidation, period,” Biden said, according to ABC News. “Stand up and speak against it. We don’t settle our differences in America with a riot, a mob, or a bullet or a hammer. We settle them peacefully at the ballot box.”
While there are countless examples of incendiary comments from Democrats, Biden must have forgotten that only a few years ago a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a Republican congressional baseball practice, injuring six people including Congressman Steve Scalise, after years of Bernie calling for a revolution and denouncing banks, the wealthy, Republicans, corporations – all of Socialism’s bogeymen – as threats to democracy.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of course made everything about his campaign for president, which he swears doesn’t exist, by saying Fox News caused the shooting and denouncing comments made by Virginia’s governor, Senator Ted Cruz, and others with national name ID.
Of course, Newsom was right that their comments were bad, but the quickness and enthusiasm with which he denounces prospective Republican presidential contenders is outshined only by how slowly and meekly he responded to abhorrent comments made recently by Democratic city councilmembers in Los Angeles.
Elon Musk retweeted a conspiracy theory that the whole incident was actually a gay lovers’ quarrel (which would have been no less tragic, if true).
Donald Trump, Jr. joined in, biting someone else’s joke about a Paul Pelosi Halloween costume of underwear (a play on the lovers’ quarrel) and a hammer, adding an extra dig at Biden’s son, Hunter.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson made sure everyone knew that the attacker is living in the country illegally and tried to make the case that since the attacker lives in Berkeley he’s probably Antifa, or something like that.
MSNBC tweeted a blog post titled: “Nancy Pelosi’s husband is recovering in a hospital named after someone whose social media platforms have helped make him a target.” This completely misses the point, but manages to bring in Facebook, because the hospital was named after the social media giant’s founder.
And plenty of news outlets jumped on the Biden bandwagon by blaming Republicans: “The Paul Pelosi attack follows years of GOP demonizing Nancy Pelosi,” wrote The Washington Post.

They must have forgotten years of writing distortions of Republican positions. Or then-Vice President Joe Biden telling a largely African American audience that Republicans would put them “back in chains.”
I wrote a year ago that “Everyone can agree that this type of overheated rhetoric, or BS as it’s called by normal people, can, has and does lead to violence.”
But I also wrote that “responsible commentators and politicians must be aggressive in condemning this type of rhetoric and behavior — and not just when it suits their needs.”
Indeed. If people really believe overheated rhetoric can promote violence, then everyone should knock it off. But that means everyone.
Follow Matt on Twitter @FlemingWords
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