Thursday, October 25, 2018

Domestic Terrorism

Over the first few days of this week, pipe bombs have been mailed to prominent Democratic leaders and influencers including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, former CIA director John Brennan at CNN, political donor George Soros, former attorney general Eric Holder, Representative Maxine Waters, and Florida congresswoman and former Democratic National Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  Oddly, the return address on each package used Debbie Wasserman Schultz's address.  The explosive device in the packages was constructed from a length of pipe a little longer than six inches and wrapped in black tape with what appeared to be epoxy on the ends.  What could be a timer was attached to the side of the pipe and wires were visible at both ends.  These packages were treated as live explosive devices and dealt with accordingly.

If you want to see what hate looks like, this is it.
More troubling than the terroristic acts of this individual or group of people has been the apathetic response by large swaths of people on social media.  Posts and comments decrying this as a "false flag" or a plot by the Democrats to gain sympathy before the election or to distract everyone from the caravan of migrants seeking asylum in the United States.  Methinks the tinfoil is strong with this group.

These bombs and the threats and attacks behind them should be recognized for what they are - acts of terrorism.  Acts of hate.  Criminal, despicable acts against our fellow Americans.  Our fellow citizens.  Our fellow humans. 

I do not agree with the current administration often, but I agree with their response to these events.
To further quote the President, "In these times we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear strong unmistakable message, that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America."

And while I agree with these sentiments, I also have to wonder if we are here because of two and a half years of chants of "Lock her up!" at political rallies.  Because of continued fear mongering with "If Republicans did lose big to Democrats, they will overturn everything that we've done and they'll do it quickly and violently, and violently."  If we're here because of images that say "It's no longer Democrat versus Republican, it's Communism versus Freedom."  Are we here because we've not only allowed but encouraged our politicians, and particularly our Commander-in-Chief, to engage in the lowest form of muckraking and rhetoric?

While we do not have a revealed motive from the bomber(s) regarding the attacks, it should not seem coincidental that all of the targets so far are not only Democrats, but targets of President Trump's attacks.

These actions and the response must be seen as the sad, ugly, and inevitable result of the constant portrayal of an opposing party as crooked, un-American, liars, Socialists, Communists, bigots, racists, Fascists, and immoral.  The result of continuing to buy into the line of thinking that says everyone who is not with us is against us.  That everyone against us is evil.  The line of thinking that forgets we are all American citizens.  That we are all trying to make this country better, though we may have different visions of what "better" entails.  That we are all in this together.

We have to do better.  We have to stop giving into this impulse to assume the worst of anyone who disagrees with us.  To stop impugning the motives of the other half of the country that has a different political opinion.  To stop judging opposition by the worst examples of their character while attributing only the best of intentions to our side. 

We have to stop believing a political party can save us.  And to stop assuming that the only candidates that can do any good will have a specific letter following their name.   And this is especially true for those who claim to follow Christ.  Only He can save us and this country, and no political party or candidate will always align with His purpose. 

We have to stop viewing compromise and consensus as dirty words and start having hard conversations about political issues.  To start really digging into try and solve them, not just digging in our heels when someone will not give in to our position.  To end this obstructionism and to actually work together to learn and grow from each other.

To start voting out of office people who have been abusing the system for far longer than any founding father could have imagined.  To do whatever we need in order to end the ability to be a "career politician," implementing term limits in Congress and other agencies.

To do more than pay lip service to the fact that we are all Americans, and to start acting like it.

I hope we are up to the task.  I really do.

Because this current environment is getting really tiring and wearing on me.  Wearing on us all.  And I fear how long we can keep it up without resorting to something far worse than this week.

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