Pop, pop! Shots rang out. One witness remembers the gunfire coming out in pairs. Pop, pop! Four people were hit, one a U.S. Congressman. A Republican Congressman.
It was a dirty election season, but the mudslinging was child’s play before the vote. Once reality set in that Trump had won, leftwing devastation turned to rage.
What we’ve been experiencing in this country is a total loss of respect, common sense and civility. Why? We are not barbarians, are we?
In the past, there were people from other countries wanting to emulate the United States, but now we are emulating third world nations where dictators are overthrown in coups d’état and savages parade around with the heads of the deposed. But this is a democracy, and the president was elected fair and square. Any attempts to prove otherwise have failed thus far, and it’s time to come to terms with the fact that the pendulum has shifted to the other side as it always does. After eight years of a president Republicans hated, the country now has a president Democrats hate. You can’t impeach the man simply because you cannot accept your own loss, and inciting hatred and violence is flat-out wrong.
And yet, that is exactly what has been happening. This environment of anger and hatred has been instigated by politicians, the media, celebrities, teachers and professors, and even everyday people on social media. But it’s got to stop. At some point, incitement leads to real violence, and it’s already happened.
Israelis are all too familiar with this scenario. Palestinian leaders on both sides, the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Meshal and others, preach hatred and encourage violence, rewarding terrorists and the families of so-called “martyrs” with financial bonuses for killing Jews. They promise the eternal reward of Paradise. One sure way to reach not only Paradise but everlasting fame here on Earth is to kill Jews, they say. As a testament to that, they name schools, streets and plazas after the terrorists, paying their families and paying salaries to those who land in Israeli prisons.
The hatred begins with their mothers’ milk. Cartoons and muppets on television teach children to kill Jews. Proud parents take pictures of their babies dressed in combat clothes with guns and ammo by their sides. Youth camps carry on the idea along with school textbooks, and government and religious teachings.
Without incitement, things would change. But when hatred oozes into every fiber of our being as it’s drilled into us in all aspects of our lives, eventually, someone will act out on the rage.
It happens far too often in Israel. And now, in America, Republicans are the Jews. Called every name in the book from racist to Islamophobic and a whole host of others, the message is clear: hate the Republican. Kill the Republican. Congressman Steve Scalise was shot as a direct result of this violent message.
In the case of this attack, the gunman asked if the people in the ball field were Democrats or Republicans. It was no different from Islamic terror attacks when the assailants ask first if their potential victims are Muslim or not. If they are Muslim, they are spared. If the ball players had been Democrats, they would have been spared.
This message of hate must stop. We must work together and remember we are all a part of this great nation. We are not barbarians. We are Americans. Let’s act like it.
D.M. Miller is the author of the interfaith “Heart” series as well as the poetry collection, Dandelion Fuzz and memoir, Half-Jew: Searching for Identity. The product of an interfaith marriage herself, Miller’s work explores the difficult themes of religion, politics, ethnicity, culture, family, ancestry and love. See her books on Amazon.
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