Cause and effect. Words and deeds. Force and movement. Ideas and consequences.
Most would readily acknowledge that for every deed or action there is a corresponding force, idea or motivator behind it. But all too often biases and subjectivity cloud the facts and the understanding of them, even when the clues are abundantly clear. This week was a case study of these truths.
On Wednesday, a 66-year-old political activist picked up a rifle and handgun, with deliberate pre-meditated intent, and hatred in his heart, and drove to a baseball field where Republican Congressmen were preparing for the annual baseball charity benefit game. These Congressmen hailed from the party that pushes grannies over cliffs. They were men whose mission in life was to steal money from the poor and give to their rich friends. They were polluters whose chief aim was to destroy the globe they live on. They were men who were racists, bigots, and homophobes. These men, in baseball cleats and uniforms, were the worst of the worst America has to offer, or so news reports, media, pundits, late night show hosts, Hollywood elites, millions of Americans, and particularly their Democratic colleagues across the aisle, would have you believe all these obvious lies and slander.
And so Mr.
Hodgkinson, a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter, and avowed left-wing activist, following months and years of hearing his ideological leaders malign and defame Republicans and conservatives, made the horrific decision to do what seemed the logical thing, given the “crimes” of these Republicans. He would grab his weapons and descend upon these “vile” GOP Congressmen, becoming their judge, jury, and executioner. He would do what others could only bring themselves to verbalize, whether through innuendo, jest, theatrical drama, or outright threats. He would carry through. He would extinguish their lives, and in so doing, he would finally mete out the only justice these "immoral" Republicans were worthy of… destruction and death.
Thankfully, Hodgkinson's murderous plan was foiled due primarily to the grace of God, and secondly to the heroic actions of the Capitol Police, who just “happened to be there” because Rep. Steve Scalise, Republican House Majority Whip, had his assigned security detail with him. Rather than a mass shooting with numbers of lives lost, there were a handful of Republicans (including Scalise) and Capitol police who were shot up, but are expected to recover. In a move of swift justice, the would be executioner met his Maker that very day, receiving the ultimate judgment reserved for unrepentant murderers.
But, is that the end of the story? Are there others, beyond Mr. Hodgkinson, who played a role in the tragic events of this week?
If for every effect there is a cause; and if words drive actions; and if movement is preceded by force; and if ideas have consequences, then there is a mountain full of blame to spread behind the left-wing ideological lines, as I wrote about a couple months ago in a separate article on my blog entitled "Liberal Violence vs Conservative Protests: A Moral Equivalence?"
Whether it’s Kathy Griffin’s recent graphic beheading stunt of President Trump, or the Julius Caesar play in New York this week that depicted the main character, a Donald Trump look-alike, being assassinated, these are just two whose ideological DNA are at the scene of the crime. To call for or fantasize about the death of anyone, but particularly a member of an opposing party because you find him or her objectionable, or even reprehensible, should be intolerable and be met with the swiftest condemnation. Those participating in such despicable behavior should pay a heavy price. Tragically, when those toying with such hideous fantasies are nationally recognized, they water a soil that is already sown with seeds of hatred and thoughts of violence. To be clear, Mr. Hodgkinson was completely responsible for his actions. But before his fateful day, those calling for Trump’s assassination lent credence to such crimes and played a part in fanning into flames the embers of Hodgkinson's hate.
It’s long been established that the overwhelming slant of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, nearly every major newspaper, and the vast majority of entertainment (Hollywood elite and musicians) in our nation participate in the unholy alliance that seeks to portray those on the right side of the political spectrum as all that is wrong with America. Every kind of disparaging remark is hurled at those of us whose “guilt” is simply embracing an ideology that, while at odds with their alliance, is most in tune with the philosophy of our founders and our Constitution. If it’s any consolation for conservatives, were our founders alive today, they would undoubtedly be targets of the left’s smears, vilification and even assassination attempts by their most radical elements.
Since Trump’s election, the barrage from the left has only increased and intensified. And so Hodgkinson’s mission to “Destroy Trump & Co.” as posted on his Facebook page, was affirmed time and time again by Hillary, Obama, Pelosi, Schumer and their partners across this nation with their latest message of resistance and disruption. An article from American Thinker identifies a partial list of the threats against the GOP and Trump by Hollywood celebrities.
One cannot discuss this subject without highlighting the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that speaks in unison with the agenda of the progressive left. Like a rabid animal, SPLC’s fangs can be extremely destructive and even potentially lethal. SPLC targets many of the leaders in the Republican and conservative mainstream, listing them either as "hate groups" or affiliating with the "hate groups” they singularly pronounce. So was the case with Rep. Scalise, the Republican Congressman shot this week by Mr. Hodgkinson. SPLC had falsely asserted that Scalise had associated with groups it deemed hate groups. And it should be noted that Hodgkinson had “Liked" SPLC’s Facebook Page.
SPLC’s ties to violence were furthered portrayed when they labeled Family Research Council as a hate group several years ago. Note that FRC is a mainstream political and policy organization that affirms both conservative and biblical values. In 2012 another left-wing gunman attacked FRC, seeking to kill dozens. Thankfully the security officer at FRC was armed and neutralized the would be murderer. Later, when interviewed by the police, the gunman acknowledged that he had gone to the SPLC “hate group” website to gain info on FRC before his attack. Shamefully, while SPLC boasts that it calls out those who hate, they have become purveyors of hate and violence themselves, and share some part in the climate that led to Hodkinson's attack.
It’s tempting to use a broad brush when opining about political matters but to do so would be wrong. Many Americans who voted for Hillary were appalled by the Griffin stunt and other such vile deeds. But while hatred doesn’t drive all liberals, many of them are certainly influenced unduly by the biases of their deceptive sources. And so the mouthpieces of the left, too numerous to list, carry a high level of responsibility for sowing the seeds that eventually sprout into full blown violence by some against their fellow Americans, whose sole “crime" is believing differently.
At the end of the day, this whole matter reminds me of a couple of truths from God Himself. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus stated, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
And in 1 John 3:15, we see that hatred is merely murder in one’s heart: “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.”
These are weighty thoughts and should cause all of us to look inside to test our own attitudes. If hate is equal to murder, it’s no light matter.
The question many ask themselves today is whether America can be saved from herself? Is she too far gone? Is the tenor and level of our disagreement in America between the predominant political and spiritual ideologies too far split to see a patching of our nation together again? Time will tell. But if the machine of the left continues on its unrelenting agenda to vilify and slander all views contrary to theirs, then what we witnessed this week at a baseball field in our nation’s capitol, will spill over into your city and mine next.
Plant a thought and reap a word;
Plant a word and reap an action;
Plant an action and reap a habit;
Plant a habit and reap a character;
Plant a character and reap a destiny.
Footnote: I've already had folks liken this week's shooting to the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords by Jared Lee Loughner in 2011. But Loughner's political views were well documented as being all over the board. Even the New York Times had to come out and correct a previous #FakeNews article, by admitting there was no connection between a Sarah Palin PAC ad and Loughner's attack on the Congresswoman.
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Mark West is apparently a very angry man who refuses to see himself and his very own party's role fanning the flames of hate for over a decade now. As long as it was some Muslim, Gay/LGBT, Black or Brown being chased, verbally or physically attacked, even killed; President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, their daughters even, former First Lady Hillary Clinton on the receiving end, there was only either silence from the right or sordid cruel jokes. However, raging fires are unpredictable, once out of control. The flames can start out burning in one direction only to follow the winds and go in a totally opposite direction. As the doors open wider, there is often a back draft, consuming, engulfing everything in its path, even the arsonist or arsonists who lit the fire in the first place.
Mr. West can blame the SPLC and all the organizations who simply told the truth, but it won't solve anything. Using his own rabid rants, accusing those organizations of being rabid is defeating his own purpose or intent. When the right thought the hate was funny, classy, hip, deserving even when the other side was on the receiving end, no one, or not many, from the right spoke up. And when some did, it was usually fence straddling out of fear they might lose their place at the table in some upcoming election. No one ever remotely imagined the winds of hate could blow the hate back in an unintended direction. But those of us who've lived it, witnessed, survived such hate know hate is unpredictable. Just like a raging out of control fire.
For eight years, President Obama, the First Lady, even their daughters, endured relentless attacks from the right. Hillary Clinton wasn't spared either. Go back and read the hate talk aimed at the liberals the right has spewed for much too long now. As Kelleyanne Conway recently tweeted, "You can't attack people personally, rather than on policy, and think tragedies like the Virginia shooting won't happen." Someone needs to remind the Commander in Chief of that timely phrase. Whether or not she meant her words to be all inclusive, regardless of who the victims were, left or right, her words have tremendous meaning and a lesson much too long ignored.
Ted Nugent recently spoke on WBAC radio after the Virginia baseball field attack promising to tone down the hateful rhetoric he apparently realizes he's been guilty of, although he says he won't apologize for his past rants. Nugent recently spoke during a radio interview and promised: "I’m not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore.” He went on to say, "The subject has reached a critical stage" and said he “re-evaluated his approach.”
And: “I just can’t use those harsh terms,” Nugent said. “I cannot and I will not and I encourage even my friends/enemies on the left in the Democrat, liberal world that we have got to be civil to each other.”
Mr. West, why don't you do the right thing and stop continuing to fan the flames of hate by your own words? Refuse to engage in your own hate talk, and stop hiding behind God and religion to justify it?
I said it many years ago and I'll say it again when the hate rhetoric was out, even locally and in full force. We don't all have to like or even love one another, but we do owe one another the right to simply exist. It shouldn't matter which hats we wear, or what positions and titles we hold. My right, your right, Muslims, Gays, LGBTs, Blacks/Whites/Browns, the homeless person sleeping under the bridge, the guy/girl in uniform, the ones out of uniform, left wing politicians, right wing politicians, those in the middle have just as much right to simply exist as anyone. Otherwise, we all lose value and the right to exist at some point in time.
Good day, Sir.
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Mr. West, you hit the nail on the head with a sledge hammer.
What’s wrong with the left is it’s filled with people like Ms. Washington that live on a one way street while never considering the other sides point of view, even when they know they're right.
Let’s see, Ms. Washington, has the right ever blocked roads in protest, held a decapitated head of Obama, staged plays murdering him, manufactured fake news about Obama on NBC, CBS, MSNBC and others? Why don’t you protest this? Do yourself and country a favor, accept the fact that you lost and do it with dignity preventing further deterioration of your party.
I didn’t care for Obama but at least I had enough class and respect for the office to do none of the above and endured eight years of his administration.