Around 7am this morning, a 66 year old gunman named James Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of Republican Members of Congress as they practiced for the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park, wounding House Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others, including staff.
Let me be clear: now is NOT the time for politicization. Now is NOT the time to blame “the other side”. Now is NOT the time to go back to our partisan silos and echo chambers. It’s time to double down on what makes America great: rational and civil political discourse, debating from positions of respect and not hatred.
Congress has a great opportunity to take the first step in practicing this by making sure the Congressional Baseball Game goes on undeterred by today’s events.
Members, fly back to DC and attend. America needs to see Republicans and Democrats smiling and joking with each other.
Before the game, those Members should stand arm-in-arm and sing our national anthem at the top of their lungs. President Donald Trump should attend and throw out the first pitch.
ESPN or FS1 should drop whatever programming they have scheduled and carry the proceedings live, and Americans should watch it.
If you live anywhere close to Washington D.C., go to the game tomorrow night and cheer loudly for both teams. Give generously to charity. Find a friend with whom you disagree politically and invite them over for dinner.
Finally, let this tragedy help us reflect upon the major consequences of our discourse. Let’s disagree vehemently and passionately, but let us remember always that our battles are over ideas, and, even now, that what unites as Americans is far greater than what divides us.
Finally, for those of faith, let us consider a few verses of Scripture:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” - Matthew 5:43-45.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[