Time for a Deep Breath

Posted: Oct 23, 2008 3:59 PM
The Hill has noted that police are preparing for riots in the aftermath of the presidential elections.

This kind of thing makes me wonder where the America I know has gone.  That's the one, of course, where we take pride in a peaceful transition of power in the wake of presidential elections.  Street violence on election night has hitherto been the stuff of banana republics, not The United States of America.

It strikes me that everyone of every political stripe -- from the National Reviews and Townhall to Daily Kos and TPM -- should be able to agree: Not only is violence in electoral politics evil and unacceptable -- but the whiff of intimidation that accompanies the threat of it is pernicious and intolerable.  And they should be saying so.  Loudly.  And frequently.  The long term health of our democratic republic depends on it.

Even as I write this, the Drudge Report notes (without link) that a 20 year old McCain volunteer has been attacked and mutilated -- a "B" carved into her face.  Of course, the vast majority of Obama supporters are decent people, who would never dream of doing such a thing (could we please ask Democrats to note the same when some crazy says something stupid at a McCain rally?).  And it's too bad that some criminals are tarnishing their ranks.

Do those who stoop to engaging in violence in service of Obama's cause really think they're helping their candidate?  Rather, they may be frightening normal voters, who won't be eager to bring to power someone who, even unintentionally,  inspires such ugly zealotry.  And, most important of all, what they're doing is despicable, destructive and wrong.  Just wrong.  It can't be said often enough.

Is this sort of behavior un-American?  As Sarah Palin might put it, You betcha.