By the time you read this article, we may know the identity of the individual or group behind the spate of attempted bomb attacks on CNN, the Obamas, the Clintons and others. What's clear right now is that we have been heading in this direction for many months now. The attempted bombings are just the manifestation of the tip of a very big iceberg.
As for the bombs, there are several obvious possibilities. Were they the work of right-wing extremists? Was this a desperate, false-flag tactic from the far left? Is this the work of someone who is simply mentally unstable? The product of outside terrorism?
At this moment, we don't have answers to those questions. But what we do know is this: From Donald Trump to CNN and from left-wing radicals to the Hollywood elite, we have been on a collision course with extreme anger boiling over into violence.
All are guilty, all are to blame, and all have a responsibility to speak responsibly. It's time to temper the rhetoric. Otherwise there will be blood on the streets. (This is not the first time I have said these things, and I'm hardly alone in airing these concerns.)
Let's look at some of the main players involved, in the reverse order of my list.
When we consider the rhetoric of the Hollywood elite, the big question is: Where do we start?
Do we highlight Madonna's desire to blow up the White House, expressed at a women's rally immediately after the presidential elections?
Or how about Bette Midler's recent tweet, comparing the president to "murderers and plunderers"? (For the record, this was in response to the report that the HHS was going to define "sex" based on biology. How dare they!)
And in between these two statements, there was Kathy Griffin holding up the bloody, severed head of the president. Need I say more?
Yet there is plenty more to say. A June article on The Hill also reminds us of "Johnny Depp saying it's time for another actor to assassinate the president, referencing John Wilkes Booth." The article also noted that, "Just days ago, the legendary Robert De Niro used his Tony Awards podium privilege to shout '[Expletive] Trump' while the industry crowd stood up and cheered."
At this point, a whole book could be written on Hollywood's hatred of Trump.
As for the radical voices on the left, where do we start?
Is it the confrontational calls of politicians like Maxine Waters?
Is it the violent incitement of groups like Antifa?
A September editorial on Investor's Business Daily noted that, "Breitbart started collecting examples of attacks on Republicans and Trump supporters in recent months. Their list is now over 550."
The op-ed also stated that, "MSNBC's Joe Scarborough used the 17th anniversary of 9/11 to declare President Trump a bigger threat to America than terrorists who killed 2,977 on that day—to say nothing of the hundreds who died later from 9/11-related cancers.
"Scarborough didn't come out and say that Trump should be killed like 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. But what other implication are you supposed to draw? That he should be thrown in the prison at Guantánamo?"
This kind of rhetoric is utterly irresponsible and can easily lead to violent actions, especially by unstable people with an ax to grind.
Ironically, Alex Soros, the son of billionaire, left-wing financier George Soros, blamed today's hateful climate on President Trump, associating him with white supremacists and anti-Semites. (This was in response to the attempted bomb attack on a George Soros residence.)
Yet it is George Soros whose funding has allegedly empowered so many on the radical left, including those espousing violence and hate.
As for CNN, do I really need to document their incessant, often hysterical attacks on the president and those who stand with him? (See here and here and here for examples.) Does this constant drumbeat of Trump hatred produce no bad fruit at all?
In the immediate aftermath of the bomb threat at CNN's New York City headquarters, CNN's president Jeff Zucker issued this statement: "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media. The president, and especially the White House press secretary, should understand their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."
Again, at this point we do not know who is responsible for the bombs, but even if they are the work of misguided and demented Trump supporters, Zucker's statement is beyond ironic.
Mr. Zucker, please reword your statement and apply it to your own network. Words do matter, and you are fueling the fires of anti-Trump hysteria on a daily basis.
And that leads us back to President Trump himself. He certainly shares in the blame, from the campaign trail to today.
Think back to his allegation that Rafael Cruz, the father of Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. (Perhaps you forgot that one, among many others?) Or consider that, within the last week, Trump praised a Republican congressman from Montana for body slamming a reporter, calling him a "tough cookie." (Eric Trump downplayed his father's comments as just having "fun." But surely, today, there are better ways to have fun.)
Is it any surprise that, "President Trump's supporters chanted 'lock her up' ahead of his arrival at a rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on Wednesday evening, just hours after the Secret Service said it found 'potential explosive devices' in mail sent to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at her home in Chappaqua, New York"?
And if, in fact, the attack on CNN and others was the work of Trump loyalists, I wouldn't be too surprised. After all, we have been told, the left-wing media, especially CNN, is the enemy of the people. (In the same vein, I wouldn't be surprised if the bombing was the work of left-wing radicals, determined at any cost to make Trump look bad.)
AP News reported that, "President Donald Trump has skipped some of his usual attack lines at a campaign rally in Wisconsin."
Yes, "Trump opened the rally by calling for a new era of civility in politics following the attempted attacks on former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others. And he said those in the political arena must 'stop treating political opponents as being morally defective.'"
Mr. President, I really appreciate you saying this, and it's certainly about time. I would simply ask you, sir, to set an example and lead the way. Have you not been guilty of these very things yourself?
As I've said for more than three years, you can be a strong, forceful leader, a real fighter and a champion of the people without getting in the gutter.
And for each of us who post or write or speak out or have a platform, let's be careful. Our words can bring life or they can bring death (Prov. 18:21). What will it be?
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Donald Trump Is Not My Savior. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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