Word comes from Illinois that a Republican state representative candidate, Ryan Alm, was threatened on Tuesday as he canvassed a part of his district in suburban Chicago. The man who threatened him "took out a gun and cocked it back in front of my face and said 'Get the f--- out of this neighborhood before I blow your head off," Alm reported. Police later arrested the man for assault with a weapon at a location displaying yard signs for Alm's opponent in the race. Needless to say, this is an unacceptable way to share your political disagreements, and Democrats are all too willing to hold the philosophy that violence is OK in the face of offensive conservatism.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. A delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Tampa made the ridiculous statement that she would like to kill Romney. Additionally, in 2006, a man threatened the Nevada GOP headquarters with a gun in his apparent disgust over a potential Bush veto over a funding bill. Wisconsin, the land where union-busting is apparently synonymous with Nazism, saw a Democratic state legislator say "You're f------ dead!" to Republican Michelle Litjens. The party of peace and love, unless you're a Republican that deserves to burn in hell, of course.
Political disagreement is bound to happen in a pluralistic society such as ours, and I am as quick as anyone to look at someone and say some pretty heated rhetoric to express my point. There is nothing wrong with that. I do believe that leftist philosophy is intellectually bankrupt, and I do believe that Obama's embodiment of that philosophy as president is leading this country down an immoral path which will only bring about the demise of our quality of life and liberties as a society. Frankly, I fully recognize that leftists probably say the same thing about me, Mitt Romney, and a host of other conservatives in the process. That is their right. You cannot force someone to value the same things you do in a free society, and very heated debate is not a bad thing.
However, violence in any form is unjustifiable unless in the act of self defense. It's a core tenet of my personal philosophy that values individual rights and freedom above anything else. In a free society generally, it should hold the same importance. Violence against the individual is wrong — flat out, undeniably wrong. After all, isn't that why liberals and conservatives alike were so quick to jump on Rep. Akin for his comments about "legitimate rape?" Those comments reflect a vulgar concept that premeditated violence is justified in some instances. Worse, the comments suggest some violence against an individual isn't really that violent at all, and the victim should accept the action as it is.
That is what is bothersome about the examples of threatened violence against Republicans. Democrats and liberals who read this article will no doubt jump quickly to point out "Bush started the Iraq War" or "Republicans intimidate voters with their ID laws." Fine, point taken. However, the dangerous trend of violence is no more justifiable because of your political disagreements. In fact, I would say any attempt to use policy criticisms as a justification for "I will kill him" are only the same intellectually bankrupt arguments I've heard before.
Having said that, I would challenge each Democrat reader of this article to do two things. First, simply say that the moral fabric of these people is reprehensible. Criticize them with the same fervor you criticize Republican policies. Second, please find me examples of a Republican threatening a Democrat in the same way. At that point, I would challenge Republicans to denounce them all the same.
Violence is never justifiable unless you need to defend yourself. I wish Democrats would remember that a little bit more.