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Outsiders vs. Insiders: When it comes to hate speech the left owns all the talent in the world

Chock it up to human nature but whenever something shockingly traumatic happens (like Wednesday’s leftist-perpetrated shooting) there’s almost always a tangible calm that ensues where everyone looks at each other with sympathetic gazes, whispers “I’m sorry” with their eyes and silently vows from that point forward to remember the moment and appreciate all those that heretofore they’d treated so poorly.

If only that magic empathetic feeling could last forever, the world would be a better place.

MadonnaBut chances are with people being all-too-human they’ll return to the back-biting and hurtful verbal sniping in practically no time at all.

Sadly, such appears to be the case with the chattering class (sometimes known as the media) after Congressman Steve Scalise was critically wounded along with four others by leftist activist James T. Hodgkinson on Wednesday. After the incident Scalise endured several hours of surgery and surely faces months if not years of difficult recovery.

Regardless of how anyone might feel about his politics, Scalise deserves our prayers and good wishes for a full recovery.

But as everyone is probably aware by now, Scalise is the third most powerful man in the House Republican leadership. Being a conservative from Louisiana, it didn’t take long for members of the media to put forward crackpot theories for why he might have been targeted by Hodgkinson.

Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner wrote, “Remember when Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was the victim of a bogus news cycle alleging he once played footsie with white supremacists?

“We do.

“That debunked story from 2014 was resurrected very briefly [by Politico’s John Bresnahan] Wednesday morning not long after it was reported that Scalise, who serves now as the House majority whip, and others were shot in Alexandria, Va., as they practiced for the upcoming congressional baseball game.”

For the record, Bresnahan tweeted, “Members surrounding [House Speaker Paul Ryan] on the floor, including [Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La.], who helped Scalise out when he had problems over racial issues (emphasis added).”

The balance of Adams’ article recounts the real story behind liberal allegations that Scalise hobnobbed with white nationalists back in 2002. It turns out Scalise spoke to a constituent group (on economic issues) at the same hotel on the same day that an associate of David Duke was holding a conference later that afternoon. Scalise did not speak at or attend the latter group’s meeting yet the “racist” charge lingers years later.

So much so that a Politico reporter had to throw-in Scalise had “racial issues” and was all-but begging to infer that race played a role in his near-assassination. Otherwise, why bring it up?

When I first heard about the shooting about an hour after it happened the other day I thought ‘I sure hope they get the guy alive,’ figuring it would be the only sure way to grasp what motivated someone to indiscriminately fire bullets at a field full of aging men practicing baseball.

Of course Hodgkinson ended up dying at the hands of the heroic Capitol Police security detail and the rest of us are left pondering what could have pushed him over the edge. Courtesy of past interviews, letters to the editor and Facebook photos we have plenty of clues suggesting Hodgkinson hated Republicans and capitalism. Based on his “Are they Democrats or Republicans?” question before the rampage, one can deduct (if he wasn’t even sure who they were) that there wasn’t any particular congressman as his main target.

The only thing we know for certain is Hodgkinson wanted to snuff out Republicans…it didn’t matter which ones. The fact Scalise had “racial” charges leveled at him in the past didn’t matter a hoot to Hodgkinson; in his radicalized mind ALL of the men on the field were guilty of some political crime that carried the death penalty. Hodgkinson served as his own prosecutor, judge and executioner.

Still there were those who tried to make sense of it all, including speculating that President Trump was partly culpable for fostering a volatile national mood. Melissa Quinn of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump is ‘partially to blame’ for the hostile, polarized environment that led to Wednesday's shooting during a baseball practice being held by congressional Republicans, Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., said on Thursday.

“’I would argue the president has unleashed, partially, again not in any way totally, but partially to blame for demons that have been unleashed,’ Sanford said in an interview on MSNBC.

“’The fact is you've got the top guy saying 'Well I wish I could hit you in the face and if not, why don't you and I'll pay your legal fees,' that's bizarre. We ought to call it as such,’ he continued, paraphrasing remarks Trump made at a campaign rally last year.”

Quinn’s article contains the video of Sanford being interviewed by ultra-liberal Trump-hater Mika Brzezinski. The South Carolina congressman, who certainly has endured more than his share of media ridicule for skipping out on his wife to pursue his Argentinian mistress, wasn’t singling out Trump for Wednesday’s tragedy yet indicated the president’s tough rhetoric (during the campaign) contributed to the deeply polarized atmosphere among Americans today.

Seeing as he was appearing on MSNBC Sanford probably felt compelled to throw Republicans into today’s toxic cultural mix in some fashion. But just as it isn’t Christians mowing down civilians in the name of Jesus, Republicans aren’t beating Democrats at Tea Party rallies and they’re definitely not attempting to “off” them two dozen at a time either.

Besides, words are just words, right? The Editors of the Washington Examiner wrote, “It's certainly the case that political discussion would benefit from more civility. The tendency to attribute stupidity or malice where there is merely disagreement is widespread and corrosive.

“But, while we hope that this week's murder attempt on Republican lawmakers will rekindle civilized debate, it is important not to treat violence as an outgrowth of unpleasant rhetoric. Our country wrote free speech into its founding document because, among other things, the drafters recognized the distinction between speech and action. That isn't to say ugly words aren't ugly; it is to say personal responsibility includes not committing criminal violence because of a culture of overheated rhetoric.”

While I agree with the premise of the Examiner editors’ argument I diverge with the notion that the left is blameless in cultivating the type of mindset that led to Hodgkinson’s murderous rage.

Most interpretations of the First Amendment hold you can say pretty much anything you want about a political figure as long as it’s not intentionally false and said with actual malice. In other words if you’re going to sanction someone for saying something you have to prove that they meant to smear you with untruths.

It’s incredibly difficult to prove and comparatively few have even tried.

President Trump has threatened on numerous occasions to go after the media for its fake news but he knows actual malice is a nearly impossible hurdle to leap over. Because the standard is so high unscrupulous people use speech as a weapon. Virtually the only thing that restrains the press these days is subscription sales, ratings and advertising revenue.

But even then there are liberal mega-donors who are more than willing to take substantial losses to fuel hate campaigns against conservatives. Does the name George Soros mean anything to you?

Hate and spreading lies is exactly what’s happened with much of today’s political discourse. While both sides are guilty of excesses it’s the left alone that advocates violence. Ted Nugent may joke about the need to remove the president, but leftist groups actually hire thugs to “protest,” burn cars, assault Trump supporters and break store windows. You know, create mayhem.

I witnessed it in person on Trump’s inauguration day.

As far as I’ve seen no legitimate conservative group has done the same. It isn’t equal; leftists don’t want a debate because they know they’d lose. The Declaration of Independence states our God-given inalienable rights include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberals don’t want these things – they want thought-control, income redistribution and forced equality.

Until the distinction is recognized expect more days like Wednesday ahead.

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