No Place for Violence in Politics
Nonviolence is critical for a healthy political process. Violence is poison to a democracy. No one should encourage or condone violence or joke about violence or use violent innuendo.
No person should fear for their physical safety because of their political beliefs or activities.
Unfortunately, violence and threats of violence have escalated dramatically in the recent past.
Internet trolls and bullies often transmit anonymous threats online or through emails or phone calls. Any threats of violence should be investigated and the perpetrators punished, including those who say, "I know where you live," or other such vague but menacing phrases.
Matt Gaetz, a Republican Congressman from Florida was attacked in June 2019 when a protester allegedly threw a drink cup with red liquid inside at him. The protester has been charged with battery, and anyone who does something like this should certainly be charged with a crime and go to prison.
After this incident, a Pete Buttigieg campaign staffer posted on social media that she wished Gaetz had been hit with urine instead. The staffer apologized, and Matt Gaetz accepted the apology. I would have certainly fired the staffer. I have zero tolerance for violence or condoning violence.
In August 2019, a protester outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's house allegedly made death threats. This incident should be investigated and if convicted, those making death threats should go to prison.
In August 2019, so-called anti-fascist counter-demonstrators showed up at a extreme right rally in Portland organized by the racist Proud Boys and attended by some members of a militia organization, the Three Percenters. To avoid violence, counter-demonstrators should make sure they stay far away from the original protesters or plan the counter-demonstration for the next day or next week. Counter-demonstrators who use violence to protest racism are playing into the racists' hands. Indeed, a main objective of the Proud Boys was to provoke an overreaction from anti-fascists. The best way to fight the racist Proud Boys is not to show up at their beck and call.
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump "joked" about hurting protesters who were escorted out of his rallies. Donald Trump even promised to pay the attackers' legal fees if they assaulted protesters. In May 2019, President Donald Trump laughed at the suggestion that illegal immigrants should be shot. These statements from Donald Trump are completely reprehensible. These statements from Donald Trump encourage violence. To my knowledge, Donald Trump has never apologized for these so-called "jokes".
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