The Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate took to the floor to express sadness over the shooting at a congressional baseball practice that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and a number of others injured. (June 14)
It’s a tragic day in America but maybe it can be something more.
A turning point, perhaps, in our national cagefight over, well, just about everything.
There is one thing upon which we can all agree this morning. The events in Alexandria, Va., are the work of a madman, outrageous in every way.
A left winger who hates Donald Trump — a man who has called the president a traitor and pronounced it “time to destroy Trump & Co.” — decided to put his hatred into action and open fire on innocent Americans playing baseball.
This was no random act of lunacy. The guy stopped a congressman in the parking lot and asked whether Republicans or Democrats were practicing on the field.
Minutes later, James T. Hodgkinson started shooting.
There will be hours and days of unending TV and internet analysis about what prompted a 66-year-old union tradesman from Illinois to go over the edge.
Perhaps there should also be some national introspection as we sit here, dug into our respective political fox holes…right and left.
Perhaps it’s time to agree on a few things beyond decrying that which happened this morning on a Virginia ballfield.
Like that fact that Republicans aren’t evil and Democrats aren’t either. They have differing views, certainly — conflicting visions of the direction in which this country needs to go.
They may not be correct but that doesn’t mean they’re corrupt.
Maybe it’s time to stop shouting at each other and instead start listening to each other – looking, in good faith, for that rarified earth called common ground.
Maybe it’s time for Donald Trump to represent all of us – not just the people who elected him. To consider points of view other than his own.
Maybe it’s time for those on both sides to dial down the rhetoric because we aren’t getting anywhere.
We are a divided nation, mired in an overabundance of emotion and vitriol and an appalling paucity of compassion and understanding.
Recently, Rep. David Schweikert got an anonymous letter that was disturbing. The letter writer, incensed about Schweikert’s position on health-care, wished all manner of horrible things to happen to his baby daughter.
“May your child suffer a traumatic brain injury and become an above-the-knee amputee,” the person wrote. “Tough luck on getting health insurance thanks to your vote.
“May you know the pain of losing a child to cancer. May you have a stroke, lose your job, your healthcare, your house & assets. Because this is what you’ve done to us.”
I’m guessing Schweikert this morning is like the rest of us, wondering what leads a man to go from taking shots on the internet to taking shots on a baseball field?
Wondering whether his letter writer might similarly slip over the edge.
What part do we all play in driving someone who already is mentally unbalanced to the brink of insanity?
How do we view the loyal opposition? In our hearts and in our Twitter and Facebook feeds.
We are all Americans and we are better than this.
It’s often said that politics is a blood sport. Well, this morning, we got a startling look at the consequences.
Maybe it’s time to turn our national cagefight into a national conversation.
Out of madness, saner heads must prevail.
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