Democrats, along with members of the media, need to dial back the rhetoric, urges David French in NRO.
There is a yawning legal and moral gap between First Amendment–protected activity, no matter how angry and boisterous, and a true mob. Screaming protesters picketing on a sidewalk are in a fundamentally different position from screaming protesters who invade private property to chase a senator from his meal. Angry demonstrators chanting in front of the Supreme Court are different from people who break police cordons and pound on its doors. Handmaids silently mourning the birth of Gilead are not the same as men and women who disrupt Senate hearings and votes.
Presidential contender Cory Booker urged protestors to “get up in the face of some congresspeople.” Former attorney general Eric Holder said — to loud cheers — “When they go low, we kick them” (before assuring the crowd that he didn’t mean anything inappropriate). Members of the media rightly had no problem condemning Trump when he called for violence in response to protests at his campaign rallies. Why the reluctance to engage with Democratic threats?
If leading members of the media cannot recognize the risks, then they deserve the public’s distrust. If Democrats keep stoking those fires, then they don’t deserve the public’s votes. And if you don’t believe me — a conservative writer for a conservative magazine — believe Michelle Obama. Today she directly responded to Eric Holder with words our nation needs to hear: “Fear is not a motivator.”
It’s time to stop excusing, rationalizing, and minimizing behavior that is dangerous, menacing, and threatening. When public disorder threatens, and when we’re one wayward shove or impulsive shot from a truly ugly moment, it’s imperative for the people who aspire to lead to shed their preferred narratives and unite behind a single, common idea: Dissent, yes. Mobs, no.
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