It’s no secret that our political conflict has been heating up over the last few years. It’s gotten to the point that people have been physically assaulting strangers and politicians over their political views.
The examples of this are endless, and for all the talk about the right being hateful bigots, the specific examples seem to line up mostly on one side of the ledger.
Scalise was nearly assassinated by a BernieBro supporter. Rand Paul was attacked so severely that he needed part of his lung removed. People have had their truck shot at over a MAGA flag. Vehicles burned for a bumper sticker. We saw a young woman get a roundhouse kick from some skinny leftist for having the ‘wrong’ view on abortion.
Not to mention all the lower-level insanity whipped up over that iconic red hat. Just ask any of the Covington kids… or this older black gentleman who got knocked cold and basically left for dead on the subway. It was some young woman who tended to the unconscious man and dialed 911.
— ?ℝℙ_???????? ?? (@AllianceXrp) June 7, 2020
That’s every bit as heinous as what enraged people about an injured 75-year-old man in Buffalo… isn’t it? This one had nothing to do with the complex dynamics of policing, protesting and any possible mutual antagonism. It was nothing less than opportunistic malice. An example of the strong preying upon the weak… simply because he could.
That is the sort of cruel, opportunistic malice that is best described by invoking the word ‘hate’, isn’t it?
At least one honest Democrat still believes that our fight should be in the arena of ideas, not physical confrontation. He understands that is what makes our system strong. And give him credit, he is risking a lot to put forward a bold new idea.
I’ve watched countless videos of Trump supporters getting attacked in the streets simply due to their support of @realDonaldTrump.
Let’s call this what this is: a hate crime. And as we return to the legislature next week, I’ll be introducing legislation that’ll make it such.
— Vernon Jones (@RepVernonJones) June 9, 2020
Now, our more libertarian readers would argue against ‘hate’ being used as a modifier for any sort of crime. They would argue that motives can be slippery things, while specific acts are more easily proven or (just as importantly) falsified.
But if we are going to have a separate classification for crimes motivated by what group you belong to — be that ethnic, religious, sexuality etc — should our protected First Amendment right guaranteeing freedom of political association be subject to similar special protections?
Rep Jones is proposing it at the State level. Should something similar be proposed at the national level?