My phone lit up this weekend with news that a group of Republicans marching in Denver’s Pride Fest had been “attacked on the parade route by an angry group wearing masks.” One text described the attackers as cursing lesbians dressed all in black. Another text said that all was well and nothing appeared to be organized.
At dinner with friends, I sighed with relief and was quietly thankful that no one was hurt. The only apparent casualty in the scuffle was a handful of literature. Normally, I might shake off the seemingly non-event and chalk it up to the heat, the crowds or maybe Colorado’s legalized weed. But putting this very public event in context, I believe we are seeing an unprecedented attack on opposing political thought.
Overstated? I don’t think so …
If you’ve ever attended any big city LGBT pride parade then you know, there’s lots music, lots of people dressed in wild costumes and sometimes other people barely dressed at all. But generally, everyone in attendance is in good spirits and looking to enjoy themselves. As a matter of fact, these annual events revel in celebrating tolerance and diversity.
A few curse words flung at Republicans wouldn’t be noteworthy unless you place it on a growing list of political attacks by those seemingly on the left. The most dramatic being last week’s shootings of Republican members of Congress who were targeted, ambushed and fired on while playing baseball. This event may literally change security policy for our elected leaders.
Of course, there’s no way to compare the horrific acts in D.C. to what took place here in Denver this weekend. Check the video, she wasn’t a large threat. She was certainly aggressive and loud, but she wasn’t wielding a knife or a gun — but what if she were? And is that now our new standard for what is concerning during political discourse?
Look, we don’t live in a bubble. There’s an unchallenged anti-Republican narrative playing out among the left and supported in the popular media culture. The same over-the-top political rhetoric that fuels late night television comedians inspired Colorado school children to bring President Trump piñatas to school undeterred.
And by the way, is there any doubt that comedian Kathy Griffin felt safe and entitled to advocate the beheading of an American president? Posing for pictures covered in fake blood, Griffin stood embolden as she presented the decapitated head of Donald Trump.
And while some on the left chuckled, many Republicans turned the other cheek … again.
The hateful political rhetoric is dialed up to an 11 and opposing sides have doubled down on their political points of view. And with neither side willing to de-escalate, I believe we haven’t seen anything yet.
Next time a deranged shooter chooses to pick up a rifle in hopes of killing political foes, will we again be lucky to have armed police nearby to stop them? And the next time someone dressed all in black and wearing a mask charges at a political group, who’s to say someone won’t get hurt or, even worse, killed?