In an interview with a Kentucky radio station on Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul expressed his concern over the current state of political rhetoric, which he said could lead to the kind of extreme violence he saw firsthand last year on a baseball field in Maryland. Paul said that lawmakers who were encouraging their supporters to harass politicians on the other side of the aisle did not fully appreciate the beast they were awakening.
“I really worry that someone is going to be killed and that those who are ratcheting up the conversation – they have to realize that they bear some responsibility if this elevates to violence,” he said. “These are people that are unstable. We don’t want to encourage them. We have to somehow ratchet it down and say we’re not encouraging them that violence is ever OK.”
Paul stopped short of accusing Democrats of intentionally stoking the fires of violence, but he said that many of his colleagues in the Senate may not realize that their words can lead to devastating consequences.
“I think what people need to realize is that when people like Cory Booker say ‘get up in their face,’ he may think that’s okay,” Paul said. “But what he doesn’t realize is that for every thousandth person that might want to get up in your face, one of them is going to be unstable enough to commit violence.”
As much as we agree with that, we’d even go a step further. It doesn’t necessarily need to be some far-left kook like James Hodgkinson. When you ramp up a mob and send them out to harass Ted Cruz or Mitch McConnell or Sarah Sanders or whoever, you’re taking the significant risk that tensions will flare and suddenly, otherwise-rational people lose their minds for a few moments. An episode of political violence doesn’t always need to be this premeditated thing. When tempers rage and passion takes over, violence can explode almost out of thin air.
That’s why the onus is on responsible lawmakers to step out in front of these situations, tell their supporters to simmer down, and do everything they can to cool the political rhetoric they use on TV and in front of their microphones. There’s nothing wrong with firing up your supporters to go vote; but what we’ve seen in recent months has been a trend towards firing up supporters for a cause much less helpful and much more dangerous.
Unfortunately, the left – even on Capitol Hill – has come completely unglued from reason and rationality. They really thought they had this country in their progressive palms, and they are shocked – SHOCKED – to realize that they don’t. What we’re seeing right now is the equivalent of a scared, cornered, rabid animal, lashing out because it knows its time has come. We can hope that people like Rand Paul will be able to soothe the beast to sleep…but judging by what we’ve seen over the course of the Kavanaugh hearings, that hope is dwindling.