The media frets constantly that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric will lead to violence against Democrats and even — the horror! — journalists. But the same media is curiously silent when Republicans become the targets of hate. On Saturday, for instance, a Florida man drove his van through a Trump campaign volunteer tent because, as he told police, ‘someone had to take a stand’.
The incident started when the man drove his van slowly up to the tent, according to a police report. Two volunteers approached the man’s van to chat with him when ‘the vehicle accelerated towards them and the tent.’
‘Both victims had to move out of the way quickly in order to prevent themselves from being struck by the vehicle. The suspect continued to drive and knocked over several chairs, tables, and a tent,’ the police report stated.
The suspect allegedly said that he was motivated to ram the tent because of his distaste for Trump and because ’it’s like someone shitting on your grave’, whatever that means. He also took several videos of the incident, but told police that he did not capture the ‘good part’ where he drove at the volunteers.
Thankfully no one was hurt or killed, but this is just the latest example of a deranged Trump-loather targeting political opponents with violence. The most infamous example, of course, was the GOP baseball shooting carried out by a former Sen. Bernie Sanders volunteer in Alexandria, Va., which nearly killed then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. A GOP office in North Carolina was firebombed. Virginia GOP Rep. Tom Garrett required a police presence at a town hall event because of credible threats to his family and dog. Independent journalist Andy Ngo was beaten over the head while covering an Antifa rally in Portland. A Trump supporter got attacked with a crowbar in New Jersey because he wore a shirt featuring the president. The list goes on.
Yet none of these events leads to suggestions by establishment media outlets that the Democratic party or cable news anchors and pundits might be the inspiration. Instead, much ado has been made about Trump referring to the media as ‘fake news’ or the ‘enemy of the people,’ statements the media claims make them less safe. Yes, news stations and politicians were targeted by a failed pipe bomber Cesar Sayoc in 2018. however this event appears to be an isolated incident as opposed to part of a larger trend.
Indeed, violence committed by Trump supporters against their critics is sometimes fake. The Empire actor Jussie Smollett famously hoaxed a hate crime in which men in Trump hats allegedly yelled ‘this is MAGA country’ before placing a noose around his neck. Smollett has been indicted for this farce.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen anti-Trumpers normalize violent rhetoric, such as MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace suggesting she’d like to wring former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’s neck, or the New York Times publishing a Trump assassination fantasy. Former GQ writer Julia Ioffe insisted on television that Trump has radicalized more people than Isis, while MSNBC terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance nominated a Trump property in Turkey to be bombed by the radical terror group.
Doesn’t such rhetoric constitute ‘incitement, plain and simple,’ as ABC’s Cecilia Vega argued during the 2016 election, or could it ‘motivate a crazy,’ as NBC’s Chuck Todd claimed? Why doesn’t this logic apply to leftist violence?
The Florida van attack was noticed online, but somehow missed the airwaves not controlled by Fox News. The double standard is glaring.