In an op-ed published on CNN.com this week, Rand Paul’s wife Kelley wrote an open letter to Sen. Cory Booker. In the piece, Kelley said that she had twice feared for her husband’s life over the last 18 months – once when he was present at a congressional baseball practice as a deranged leftist opened fire on gathered Republicans, and once when a deranged socialist neighbor blindsided her husband as he was tending the lawn. Understandably, she has had enough of Democrats, like Booker, who have encouraged their supporters to confront and harass Republican politicians because they don’t like their agenda. She of all people can see where this mob mentality can lead.
“Earlier this week, Rand was besieged in the airport by activists ‘getting up in his face,’ as you, Senator Booker, encouraged them to do a few months ago,” she wrote. “Preventing someone from moving forward, thrusting your middle finger in their face, screaming vitriol — is this the way to express concern or enact change? Or does it only incite unstable people to violence, making them feel that assaulting a person is somehow politically justifiable?
“Senator Booker, Rand has worked with you to co-sponsor criminal justice reform bills,” she continued. “He respects you, and so do I. I would call on you to retract your statement. I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials’ personal addresses (our address was leaked from a Senate directory given only to senators), and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families.”
We’ll see if Booker has the decency to respond to Paul’s plea. We’ll see if he has the humanity left in him to disavow his earlier calls to action. Something tells us not to hold our breath.
When a random Trump supporter throws a punch at a protester, we have to hear weeks of hand-wringing from the media about how wild, raucous, racist, and dangerous the president’s fans are. When a leftist nearly kills a Republican congressman or beats a Republican senator within an inch of their lives, it’s either a “both sides are at fault” situation…or it becomes joke fodder for late-night comedians. We don’t think anyone in the media would blame Democrats if Maxine Waters encountered a violent, right-wing lunatic. We don’t think Stephen Colbert would find it funny if an unhinged conservative broke Bernie Sanders’ ribs while he was gardening in the front yard.
When it comes to violence, threats, and mob justice, we should be on the same side. We should be able to easily and quickly condemn anyone who can’t stay within the confines of intellectual debate. We should not be, under any circumstances, actively encouraging people to act out in this way.
We should not have to wait until this lesson is written for us in a language we can’t ignore.