On the day pipe bombs arrived at CNN, Barack Obama's office and Hillary Clinton's home, The New York Times ran what amounted to progressive fan fiction depicting the Secret Service assassinating President Donald Trump with Russian help.
After James Hodgkinson attempted a mass assassination of Republican members of Congress, The Washington Post ran an article about hateful rhetoric stirring up violence, focusing on right-wing talk radio. Just last week, someone launched a ricin attack on the home of Republican Sen. Susan Collins. Thankfully, it was not actually ricin. Similarly, someone sent white powder to various senior members of the military, including Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
A mob of people chased Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife out of a restaurant in Washington, and CNN anchors Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon chastised Republicans for using the word "mob," which Baldwin referred to as "the 'M' word." This past week, a man confronted Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, grabbed McConnell's restaurant leftovers and threw them into the street.
In an attack the national media did not cover, a man in California pulled out a switchblade and attempted to stab a Republican candidate for Congress. Thankfully, the candidate clobbered the would-be assassin before the man could get the blade out of the malfunctioning knife. Likewise, someone set fire to a Republican Party office in Wisconsin.
Reporters fixate on Trump's every word from the stage about the press being the enemy of the people, but they turned a blind eye to Barack Obama telling Hispanic voters that Republicans were their enemy. The press bemoans the president sharing a tweet that made it look like CNN was getting blown up, but the same press gave Obama a pass on telling his supporters to take guns to knife fights. Just last June, in Central Park, actors performed Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and had the actor playing Caesar dressed as Trump. He got stabbed to death. Imagine the reaction if the actor had dressed as Obama.
Whenever white nationalists march in the street, the press and progressive activists cover mere words as violence. Meanwhile, the press and progressive activists largely excuse violence from antifa and other progressive groups.
No matter what happens in our political discourse that brings violence, the American press and their progressive allies lecture Republicans and conservatives about their anger, rhetoric and violence. When progressives explode into violence, we are either left to lectures on how Trump is really to blame, or they move on.
Years after claims about Sarah Palin being complicit in the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords were thoroughly debunked, both The New York Times editorial board and a Washington Post reporter cited her complicity in that attack. But should you point out it is fake news, you will be accused of attacking the press.
Both sides in American politics are increasingly behaving as if we live in a third-world kleptocracy. Both sides have become increasingly shrill and increasingly convinced the other is not an opponent, but inherently evil. It makes it easier to destroy them.
Some conservatives, after this past week's bomb incidents, immediately presumed some progressive had done it to make the right look bad and mobilize progressives. Some progressives are out pushing stories that Republicans and Russians are collaborating to steal the election and deny black people the right to vote. We have become a nation that would rather believe the lie and concoct the conspiracy than accept less interesting stories and facts.
Undoubtedly, some progressives will scream that this is all "whataboutism" to deflect from the bombs of last week. Actually, it is to point out that both sides are increasingly irrational, but one side seems obsessed about lecturing the other on violent rhetoric while ignoring or excusing its own.
President Donald Trump should stop attacking the media as an enemy, though the press increasingly seems at war with the truth itself, e.g., the Brett Kavanaugh coverage. Additionally, Democrats should stop their public fantasies about assassinating the president and accusing Republicans of killing people with every policy initiative. "A republic, if you can keep it," Benjamin Franklin said. How much longer can we keep it?
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.