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OPINION
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Dear Democrats: Civility Is a Two-Way Street

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

While stumping for Virginia congressional candidate Yesli Vega on Friday (D-VA), Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) made non-controversial comments that threw many Democrats into a frenzy.

The Recount, a leftist media outfit, posted a clip of Youngkin’s remarks at the campaign rally suggesting he was inciting violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi after the latter was violently attacked in their San Francisco home. 

Republicans – including Governor Youngkin – were swift to condemn the violence carried out by Mr. Pelosi’s attacker. But that didn’t satisfy the Left. 

They pounced on Youngkin by accusing him of being insensitive, crude, and unbecoming of an elected official. 

Let’s assess Governor Youngkin’s full comments calmly, shall we? 

Youngkin remarked, “Speaker Pelosi’s husband had a break-in last night in their house, and he was assaulted. There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re gonna send her back to be with him in California. That’s what we’re going to go do.”

It’s clear as day that Youngkin didn’t condone or celebrate the violence wielded against Mr. Pelosi. Quite the opposite. 

As NBC12 added

Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter provided NBC12 with this statement regarding his comments: “As the governor clearly said, the assault on Paul Pelosi was wrong, and there is no place for violence. He wishes him a full recovery and is keeping the Pelosi family in his prayers.”

But naysayers and foes of the former Carlyle Group co-president spun his comments as nefarious and dangerous—when they weren’t. 

Virginia Democrats, including the Hampton Roads Delegate who questioned the governor’s Christianity in January for opposing Critical Race Theory - again misled the public about Youngkin’s comments, writing, “During the legislative session, I said Governor Youngkin’s espoused Christian values didn’t match his actions. Today, he proved me right by failing to express his empathy and humanity to Nancy Pelosi. He chose to ridicule her pain and the beating of an 82-year-old man. Shameful.”

Following Youngkin’s relatively tame comments, Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty lamented saying nice things about the political newcomer earlier this year because he said Republicans will make Speaker Pelosi the Democratic House Minority Leader following the November 8th midterm elections. 

“Youngkin may still have some room for redemption, though it is shrinking. He could start by apologizing for his crude joke,” Tumulty wrote. 

Governor Youngkin was never going to win over the Washington Post. The paper endorsed his challenger, former Governor and Clinton bagman Terry McAuliffe. He’s not beholden to them or any media outlet. With a 55% approval rating from Commonwealth voters, Youngkin doesn’t need to apologize for any wrongdoing. 

Did Youngkin wish harm on Pelosi? He didn’t. Did he encourage people to incite violence against Democrats? Not. 

The disgusting actions of a lunatic Berkeley hippie with deep-seated mental problems don’t mean candidates will forgo using TV or radio ads. Democrats are still throwing money behind political ads criticizing Republicans as extremists as we speak. And they won’t stop. Hypocrites.

Simply put, Youngkin’s remarks are a non-issue— especially when contrasted with actual crude comments uttered by leftists who still cheer on political violence carried out on Republicans.  

Unsurprisingly, Democrats selectively demand well wishes on political figures and are encouraging attacks on Republicans. 

Fred Guttenberg, a gun control activist, downplayed Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)’s attacker, his neighbor, as being caused by a personal dispute, tweeting, “To the GOP assholes comparing the beating of Rand Paul & Paul Pelosi, allow me to explain the difference. Paul Pelosi was the victim of political violence directed at @SpeakerPelosi & incited by you.  @RandPaul was the victim of a personal conflict with a neighbor who hated him.”

Shoplifter, failed CNN+ personality, and content thief Rex Chapman also piled on Paul with expletives and suggested the Kentucky senator had it coming, “Lol. I bet Paul Pelosi doesn’t cry as much as this little b****. Pelosi’s attack was politically motivated. It happened because people like you won’t disavow Qanon and the Proud Boys and shit. You got your a** whipped by your neighbor because you’re a f***ing jerk.”

Political violence has been leveled against both Republicans and Democrats in recent years – but many on the Left are eager to ignore or downplay violent attacks on Republicans as non-political but personal grievances. 

It’s unacceptable to see civility selectively applied to one side of the political aisle. Everyone—especially Democrats—need to be held accountable for using caustic language. They aren’t in any position to strike a conciliatory tone when the President himself is a divisive political figure.

Yes, it’s time to tone down caustic political rhetoric. It’s necessary. 

Republicans and conservatives generally agree here. Democrats, however, aren’t extending the same courtesy to us. 

Only a major defeat on Election Day could, perhaps, compel them to change their tune. The lesson here is routinely othering and demeaning, without evidence, half the country as “fascist” or “deplorable” is unacceptable and costly. 

Civility is a two-way street, Democrats. Your move.

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