LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Republican pot calling the kettle black

In the wake of (the recent) shooting at the ball field where members of Congress were practicing for the congressional baseball game, political hypocrisy reared its ugly head once again. By that evening, the most outspoken and sanctimonious of the right wing were blaming the gunman’s targeting of Republican members of Congress on the “liberal hate” coming from those on the left.

It’s very interesting that they chose to assign blame and complain about the “liberal hate” and demand the Democrats tone down their rhetoric and vitriol, instead of calling for unity. Because, in case you’ve somehow missed it, for eight of the last eight and a half years, it’s been the righties spewing the hate, rhetoric and violent vitriol.

Where was the outrage from the GOP and those on the right when Democrat members of Congress had their offices in their home districts become the target of broken windows and fire-bombings?

Where was the outrage from the GOP and those on the right when a Democratic Party headquarters office was firebombed?

Surely there was some level of outrage when Tea Party darling Sarah Palin’s PAC released into the world Sarah’s “political hit list,” complete with a map of the U.S. of A. that showed Democrat-held congressional districts marked off with “surveyor symbols” that bore a striking resemblance to gun crosshairs? Nope, she was given a job on FOX News.

What about when Ted Nugent “joked” about assassinating President Obama?

Nope, many of them blamed President Obama for trying to silence a critic and infringing on Mr. Nugent’s constitutional rights when they found out he was interviewed by the Secret Service, regardless of the fact that threatening the life of the POTUS is illegal. Mr. Nugent even got himself an invite to President Trump’s White House.

They couldn’t muster up outrage when right-wingers gathered at rallies and marches holding signs like the one featuring an image of a noose and the slogan “HANG in there, Obama,” nor could they seem to muster up any level of outrage when some of those rallies featured President Obama being burned in effigy.

And even more silence and no outrage when during the campaign, at his rallies, Donald Trump encouraged supporters to beat up people who were there but weren’t Trump supporters, and after the election when black churches were vandalized and burnt in the name of Donald Trump.

How many of these people stood up and spoke out when a Trump supporter stabbed three men who intervened while he berated two young Muslim teenage girls? As I recall, not many, if at all.

Many of these sanctimonious and outspoken people on the right have spent the better part of those eight years proclaiming the government to be tyrannical and telling anyone who would listen that the Second Amendment was given to Americans to use against tyranny and talking about using “Second Amendment solutions.”

So, from my perspective, the righties have just as much blood on their hands as the lefties do. And what did those on the right who weren’t spreading the rhetoric and violent vitriol do with their time instead of trying to bring civility back to the American political arena and asking those in their ilk to tone down the rhetoric? They used that time to come up with cutesy nicknames for those who don’t agree with them, like “Libtards” and “snowflakes.”

The sound of political hypocrisy coming from the right is, to me, anyway, not only deafening, but also, absolutely gut-wrenching. While the pot is calling the kettle black, there is a fire burning out of control and threatening to burn the kitchen down. Maybe now, there will be enough people on both sides of the aisle willing to commit to bringing back civility and work at toning down their own party’s rhetoric and vitriol.

In closing, I wish to offer this simple passage from the Bible’s book of Matthew: “You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Ricky Shehorn

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