Most people are familiar with the expression, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The inflammatory rhetoric that has flooded our political system has shown that especially violent words can hurt others, even death.
The most recent example is a California man who showed up at Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home last week. Police say he was carrying a gun, bullets, zip ties, and duct tape and wanted to kill Kavanaugh before calling 911 and claiming he was suicidal. He is charged with attempted murder.
Two years ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stood before the Supreme Court and spoke these fiery words to a crowd of protesters who opposed Roe v. Wade’s reversal: “I want to tell you, (Justice Neil) Gorsuch; I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have unleashed the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. If you continue these terrible decisions, you won’t know what hit you.”
Schumer later said, “I shouldn’t have used the words I used.” Too late. The damage was done.
While Republicans have no claim to purity when it comes to radical rhetoric, Democrats seem to use harsh words more often and then deny any responsibility for what comes next — from attempted and actual murder to looting, property damage, and violent crime.
While many Democrats (and the two Republicans) on the Jan. 6 House committee blame former President Donald Trump for instigating the Capitol riot, curiously, they aren’t concerned about Schumer’s rhetoric. And others within their party.
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Here are a few examples of incendiary rhetoric by Democrats, compiled by The Federalist.com.
In 2018, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California told MSNBC that if Trump fired special counsel Robert Mueller, there would be “widespread civil unrest” as people “take to the streets.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper agreed that if Trump fired Mueller, it would “start a firestorm not only on the hill but on the street.”
That same year, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) urged people to heed a “call to action” to protest at the Capitol. “Please, stand up in the face of some congressmen,” Booker said at a conference.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called on protesters to “stay on the street” and “become more confrontational” should a Minnesota jury acquit former police officer Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd. On another occasion, Waters said of Trump supporters, “You go out and create a crowd. You push them back. You tell them they’re not welcome anymore or anywhere.”
In 2018, Hillary Clinton said politeness was only an option if the Democrats controlled the legislature. “You can’t be polite to a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for and care about.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder quoted Michelle Obama and added his thought: “Michelle…always says, ‘If they go low, we go high.’ If they go low, we kick them.’ No. No. No. No.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that, in politics, “when you’re in the arena, you have to be ready to pack a punch, and you have to be ready to pack a punch… for the children.”
Sen. John Tester (D-MT) went even lower when he encouraged people to “slap Trump in the face”.
If the rhetoric gets heated, perhaps the best way to be heard is to speak in a tone the Scriptures attribute to God: “a still, small voice.”Proverbs writers observe: “A mild answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
LifeNews.com Note: With a biweekly column appearing in more than 600 national newspapers, Cal Thomas is the most widely read and valued voice on the American political scene.