[THE THIRD WAY] A plea for justice before the midterms

My head hurts. It feels as if every day we are stricken with a white-supremacist terror attack, and then another, and then another. It’s been 2 years since Donald Trump was elected and I can finally see the tears, the cracks, the unraveling of peace, justice, and the rule of law. The man in office shouldn’t take the blame for the man with the gun, but he bears utmost responsibility for the tension and the anxiety that grips our country.

A man killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. He was active on the far-right social media site Gab, often spreading lies and vitriol about a group of migrants heading to the US at a turtle’s pace. These lies originated at Fox News, in turn, spread through Twitter and word of mouth by the president. In fact, one theory that Jewish people were responsible for the migrant caravan was spread by Fox News. These lies convinced the Pittsburgh shooter that he should carry out grievous acts against a people who again and again have been wronged. Trump, 2 years ago, tweeted out a picture of Hillary Clinton featuring money and a star of David, suggesting to his white supremacist supporters that Jews were responsible for her corruption. Make no mistake: there’s no left equivalent. The leaders of the Democratic party are not spreading conspiracy theories about caravans of white people, the leaders of the Democratic party are not suggesting they can pay for the legal fees of those who beat up right-wing journalists, the leaders of the democratic party are not calling communist terrorists “very fine people.” Some people might tell me that we shouldn’t take Trump literally when he suggests murder and violence against his political enemies, but those who carry out these attacks do, and that’s a problem.

I’m sure many Republicans at this school revere democracy as much as I do, but the party is becoming increasingly afflicted with an anti-democratic disease

I wanted to run another midterm district profile, to compare candidates as if we were in normal times. If you’re wondering why this column is called The Third Way, while I’ve only expressed pro-Democrat views, it’s because I have to be pro-Democrat in order to be pro-democracy. I’m sure many Republicans at this school revere democracy as much as I do, but the party is becoming increasingly afflicted with an anti-democratic disease. So much of the media bends over backward to equivocate the two parties, to make up for their liberal bias by giving equal credence to ideas which often have a more right answer. There’s no denying it: Trump is a destabilizing force on our democracy and the civil decency that’s prevented political formalities. It’s possible that both sides have equal value ideologically, and I personally tend toward more pro-market views, but Republicans have lost their ideology in favor of holding onto power.

Part of the way this is done is by convincing the Republican base that their voice is still not heard, in spite of the Republican control of all branches of government. Usually, political violence happens when one side feels that there is no other way to get their point across than violence, like the Democrats in the 1970s, but right-wing terrorism vastly outnumbers left-wing terrorism by about 6 to 1. There is victim mentality at play, though, and Republicans still consider themselves to be victims even though they control all of our government. Truly, political violence becomes even more dangerous when paired with anti-democratic actions. In Georgia, for example, more than 300,000 people were purged from the voter rolls, mostly African-Americans, by someone who is running for governor and would benefit from the purging. A candidate for office should never be able to suppress the vote of people who are against him, and yet nobody is protesting the action. The media seems to consider the erosion of our norms, our democracy, and our civil peace to be the fault of both sides in order to make up for their perceived liberal bias. That shouldn’t happen. The media should report on the facts, whether or not they create a perceived liberal bias. Both sides are not the same, and I’m tired of the false equivalency. White supremacist terror is a problem, as is Republican voter suppression, and acting like we are in business, as usual, is not good. I don’t care whether you’re a liberal or conservative, you have to vote, and I strongly urge you to use your vote to send our administration a message.