This Needs to Stop! Who’s to Blame for Lee Zeldin’s Attack?

This Needs to Stop! Who’s to Blame for Lee Zeldin’s Attack?

This Needs to Stop! Who’s to Blame for Lee Zeldin’s Attack?

“This needs to Stop” said spokeswoman Katie Vincentz after Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin was attacked during a campaign rally in New York.  According to Politico

“Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin was attacked by a man with a knife during an upstate campaign stop for Governor Thursday evening.

Zeldin, who is challenging Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul in November, was speaking at a VFW in Fairport near Rochester to kick off a four-day “Unite to Fire Hochul” Bus Tour when a man climbed on stage and attempted to stab him, according to a statement by the Zeldin campaign. He was not injured.”

Katie Vincentz is not wrong, she is just too narrow in her focus.  It isn’t just about crime in New York, it is about an unsustainable level of vitriol in our political discourse.  We have all become way too hyperbolic in how we cast our political opponents and I’m afraid it won’t stop until someone is dead.

We could look back and say political discourse has always invited the mentally unbalanced to take violent action, but I think most of us would agree that the level of vitriol over the last decade outpaces anything that occurred before.  To my mind, this goes back to the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011.  The New York Times reported at the time:

“The shootings raised questions about potential political motives, and Sheriff Dupnik blamed the toxic political environment in Arizona. There were immediate national reverberations as Democrats denounced the fierce partisan atmosphere in Ms. Gifford’s district and top Republicans quickly condemned the violence.”

Just a few years later, an attack on Republican members of Congress took place on a baseball field.  Reporting on nola.com at the time:

“Federal authorities are still investigating the motive of the suspected gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill. They declined to comment on whether he was targeting the Republican members of Congress because of his political beliefs. He had posted anti-Republican comments on Facebook, including about Scalise, CNN reported, and volunteered for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign last year.”

It’s all well and good in the aftermath that Bernie Sander’s condemned the shooting of his fellow Congressmen. Kathy Hochul put out a similar statement last night but what were her words beforehand?

Then you have actual dismissals of harassment to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by sitting Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

How long did the media even mention the fact that a man attempted to murder Kavanaugh?  Just long enough to get the clicks the media feeds upon and then they moved on to the next click bate moment.

While I denounce all politically violent rhetoric, it is especially shameful when our own politicians engage in it.  I could spend hours going down the rabbit holes of far-left politicians calling for harassment of their political foes.  Worse still, however, is the culpability the media has by leaning into the calls, increasingly by far-left politicians.  As far as they are concerned, if it bleeds it leads.  Anything to further the chance of such blood is simply fine by them.  And it needs to stop.

 

Featured Image: “Lee Zeldin” by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons

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