Plato is credited with stating, “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
Admittedly, I sometimes fall into the latter classification, but I recognize tried and tested wisdom when I read it. And recently, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) wrote because he had something wise to say.
On October 11, Scalise wrote an op-ed for FoxNews.com which addressed the dangerous rhetoric of Democratic politicians who are encouraging their constituents to violently hound and accost Republican officials and their families.
Scalise wrote, “Beginning with my own near-death experience at the hands of a deranged shooter who sought to assassinate a baseball field of Republicans, there is a growing list of violent or threatening actions taken against conservatives by Democrats.”
His op-ed was written in response to comments made by former Attorney General Eric Holder in which Holder told Democrats attending a campaign rally in Georgia that when Republicans “go low,” then Democrats should “kick” them.
Holder’s instructions completely contrasted former First Lady Michelle Obama’s famous opening night speech from the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Using advice she gave her own daughters, Mrs. Obama told DNC attendees that the hateful language heard from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. She said, “...when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”
Apparently, that motto no longer applies to Democrats. Instead, when Americans voiced opposition to Holder’s comments to “kick” them, he wrote, “Stop the fake outrage.”
And though Holder declared that his comments were not meant to be taken literally, the facts prove otherwise, especially in light of many similar comments from other liberal Democratic leaders, as well as the mob violence consistently being demonstrated by their constituents.
Despite his later comments, Holder has to realize that his hate-filled words hold power and sway, and in this case, they could (whether intentionally or unintentionally) incite crimes of hate against Republican public officials and their family members.
And how ironic that Holder, of all people, would use words to incite hatred and violence when he once said, “Hate crimes victimize not only individuals but entire communities...Perpetrators of hate crimes seek to deny the humanity that we all share...The time is now to provide justice to victims of bias-motivated violence...”
But Holder is not alone in his double-speak. Two days before Scalise wrote his op-ed piece, Hilary Clinton remarked in a CNN interview that Democrats could not be civil with Republicans right now. In other words, forget liberal tolerance for now; Democrats can demand that of conservatives later, of course – once they are in total control of the House and Senate.
Her words echoed those of her 2016 vice presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) when he stated last year that Democrats should fight in Congress, in the courts, and in the streets. And that same sentiment was voiced by Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) as he advised attendees at a summer conference on homelessness to “get up in the face of some congresspeople.”
But nothing compares to the hate-filled directive from Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) when she instructed her fellow Democrats to incite violence this summer. With no remorse or coyness whatsoever, Waters said, “If you see anybody from [President Trump’s] cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Not surprisingly, her words have been heeded repeatedly by extremely intolerant Democrats who demand tolerance from literally everyone else but cannot deal with opposition to or disagreement with their liberal, leftist views and opinions.
In fact, in his op-ed, Scalise listed more than a dozen Republican leaders who have experienced personal threats to themselves and/or their family members in recent months from individuals or mobs of such intolerant Democrats.
By now, most Americans have heard about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his wife being chased out of a restaurant by an angry, threatening mob. And similar but separate incidents occurred with White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security Secretary.
Yet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife actually made it all the way through a meal a while back, only to be accosted by an angry mob as they exited. And this past weekend, a gaggle of belligerent liberals accosted the Kentucky leader and his wife again at a meal. This time the outcome was a bit different when other diners forced the angry protesters to leave the McConnells alone.
Those were not the only incidents McConnell has endured though. During Chief Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s recent hearing, the Majority Senate Leader was hounded by angry leftists on more than one occasion. And that brings to mind the horrible threats and violence that Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters endured, with one political cartoon even targeting the heartfelt prayers of Kavanaugh’s younger daughter for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Extremely violent threats (via mail, email, phone, social media, and, most disturbing of all, face to face) have also been made in recent months to Representative Diane Black (R-TN), the wife of Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA), Rudy Peters, a Republican congressional candidate from California, as well as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and his wife.
Senator Paul and his wife take those threats very seriously, as he explained in an October interview with a radio station in his home state of Kentucky. Paul called for an end to this dangerous rhetoric from Democratic leadership, fearing that another incident like the one in which Scalise was shot might end in a different – deadly outcome.
Scalise concurs, “As a survivor of a politically motivated attack, it is tragic to think this is an acceptable state of political discourse in our country. I refuse to stand for this and I will continue to call for an end to it. A healthy, strong democracy is not possible if anyone lives in fear of expressing their views.
“If this is going to stop, it must start with Democratic leaders, who need to condemn, rather than promote these dangerous calls to action. In America, we win battles at the ballot box, not through mob rule or intimidation.”
I believe Plato would agree that Scalise speaks with the wisdom of one who has something to say – something we all need to hear. And if we have something to say as well, we can wisely say it loud and clear in the midterm voting booths.
Make sure to VOTE on November 6.