Violent rhetoric stokes violent behavior

Denise Candea, Charlotte County Dems writer

Last Saturday I participated in a sign-waving event for the Biden/Harris presidential ticket at the Charlotte County Democratic Offices at 3596 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. 

Most cars passed peacefully, many waving and honking support. As is typical, some expressed their disapproval with the upraised middle-finger salute. Or one long insistent beep which seems to be Morse code for an expletive. 

Some, though, seemed to be irrationally angry at our crowd of mostly seniors. One minivan drove onto the shoulder as if to mow us down. That’s not only reckless, but it also didn’t work. It just planted our feet and set our jaws. They won’t scare us away. We moved back a few steps into the grass and continued waving our signs.

Most of the rude and dangerous people were young and drove older vehicles. It is likely they would benefit from Biden’s plans to raise the minimum wage and provide access to affordable health care and paid leave. The current administration will do nothing for them except ensure that the air they breathe and the water they drink becomes more polluted and that their vehicles guzzle more gas. And that they can never afford to see a doctor. Democrats are the wrong target of their frustration. We want to improve their lives. 

They will vote against their own self-interest to support him because he endorses and stokes their obnoxious, dangerous, and now deadly behavior. His words whip them into a frenzy. They believe they’re hunting anarchists. 

Outside Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, a man participating in a peaceful march from Milwaukee to Washington DC was shot. 

In Kenosha Wisconsin, a 17-year-old vigilante with an assault rifle killed two peaceful protesters and seriously injured another.

In Portland Oregon, a member of the right-wing group Patriots Prayer was shot and killed during a clash between pro-Trump supporters and protesters. No arrests have been made yet.

Biden spoke Monday in Pittsburgh and unequivocally denounced the violence – all of it -on both sides. He pleaded for peace and he invited Trump to do the same. Which of course Trump won’t do because as Biden correctly articulated, sowing the seeds of division and fear is Trump’s re-election strategy.

Trump is an agitator. He is fueled by chaos and division. It is how he runs his businesses and how he has governed. Consider how many people have left his administration to write books about his corruption, mercurial behavior, and embarrassing lack of knowledge. He is an entirely unfit president and now he has us shooting at each other in the streets. This is Trump’s America.

He is encouraging a militia of disaffected, alienated, racist white men armed with military-style weapons. Clearly this is not the militia intended by the second amendment. Sane people right and left are recognizing that this is destructive to our democracy. He must and will be stopped at the polls on November 3rd before he provokes a civil war.

Join us waving Biden/Harris signs (David Jones and Allen Ellison too) at the Charlotte County Democratic office, 3596 Tamiami Trail (Sunnydell Plaza), Port Charlotte: Tuesdays 4-6 pm and Saturdays 10 am-12 pm. Visit the website for more info.

Image Credits: Linda Potterfield