21st-century America and political violence

Two instances of political violence this week: a Rubio campaign worker in Florida was set upon and severely beaten by a man who told him that Republicans “weren’t welcome” in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi’s husband was beaten with a hammer. The crime seems to have been politically motivated. (It does appear, though, that the mentally unstable perpetrator’s ideas were a mishmash of whacky beliefs, from New Age nudism to QAnon.)

This type of thing largely did not happen in my younger years, even though the country was split, then as now, more or less evenly between the two major political parties. Even though there were controversial topics like abortion. (I’m in my 50s, and we’ve disagreed about abortion for as long as I can remember.)

I don’t want to get into a tit for tat on the question of “which side has the most crazies?” Events of the past few years have shown that there is plenty of crazy to go around in 21st-century America. By the standards of anything I’ve seen in my lifetime (I was born in 1968), America is on a batshit crazy bender right now. And that goes for everyone.

Trump voter beaten in Chicago in 2016

We should all be horrified by what happened to Paul Pelosi. We should also be horrified by what happened to the Rubio campaign worker, and the plot to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last summer…over abortion.

Everyone—if you’ll pardon my language—needs to calm the fuck down. That means the “my body, my choice” crowd, as well as the “abortion stops a beating heart” crowd. That means the MAGA folks, as well as the leftwing Democrats who are still “resisting” a president who has been out of office since the beginning of last year. 

These are the kinds of headlines you see right before a society slides into anarchy. And anarchy is where we seem to be headed.