When the Tea Party was making headlines, unfavorably so in the mainstream media, I decided to check them out for myself: I encountered well-mannered, earnest citizens, some sporting pocket editions of the U.S. Constitution, at a rally. And yet they were widely portrayed as threats to civil order.
Here's what's a threat to civil order, not to mention life and limb:
A Taunton woman accused of intentionally driving into a man’s car a month ago after becoming enraged by a Trump bumper sticker pleaded not guilty Monday in Barnstable District Court to a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.
The CBS Boston reporter ended his segment on the alleged incident by joking that there is a new medical term for what drove, so to speak, the suspect–Trump anxiety syndrome.
"But will it hold up in court?" he quipped.
The hit and run, as described by the Cape Cod Times, however, was no joking matter:
On June 30, a man called Barnstable police to report a hit-and-run crash. He told responding officers he had been driving south on Bearses Way in Hyannis, and was stopped for a red light at the intersection of Route 28 when the driver of the car behind him began honking the horn, according to a police report.
The man continued driving onto Bassett Lane and the car followed, with the driver still honking, the man told police, according to the report. When he stopped again for a red light at the intersection with North Street, the driver also began yelling, the man said.
Thinking that something might be wrong with the back of his car, the man stepped out into the road. The driver began yelling at him about a Donald Trump bumper sticker on the back of his car, he told police.
“She said, ‘You voted for Trump?’” the man wrote in a statement. “I said yes. She called me a racist and several other names.”
As the man began recording the incident on his phone, the woman drove around his car, prompting him to step back into the driver’s side door opening, he told police, according to the report. The woman then drove at him and hit the open door, he said, according to the report.
“She bent my door and I had to lean back to avoid getting hit,” the man wrote. “She also hit the side of my car.”
Political harassment in the form of an alleged on-purpose hit and run is in a class by itself (for now, knock on wood), but we've seen an alarming rise in such incidents lately (here and here, for example).
In my trendy neighborhood (and this is mild compared to being hit by a car), I continually encounter anti-Trump and Mike Pence stickers at the bus stop and other strategic spots that are sickening in their crudity.
Richard Jack Rail suggests in the American Thinker that what we are seeing is more than a mere culture war–Rail says it is a war against normal, everyday citizens, now regarded by some in the progressive movement as being "extras from the movie Deliverance."
It is now socially acceptable in some circles, Rail points out, to call these normal people "deplorables, bitter clingers, toothless, plus every dirty word they can think of."
I seriously doubt if the suspect in the hit and run case was a member of the elite. But her actions partake of a general atmosphere in which there are no civilized norms for dealing with people who disagree with you, particularly if the offender happens to be one of the 63 million citizens who voted for Donald Trump.
Because it is mostly conservatives, particularly those who manifest support for the President, who are coming under attack, it is going to take some liberal politician or leader making a stand against this kind of anger and hatred.
Hey, you used to love to lecture us about civility.