Five Americans lost their lives in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. What makes that tragedy even worse is that it was so unnecessary. We didn’t arrive at this volatile moment, when loud voices on both sides show contempt for each other, because of the failings of a single political party.
We are here because members of both parties, aided by their respective media cheerleaders and other attack dogs, have rewarded rhetorical bomb-throwers and cultivated distrust at the expense of what we once called “good government.” Neither party should be proud of its own poor judgment (to be polite) during the past four years. The problem is that too many “leaders” believe the ends justify the means.
The January 6 tragedy – like the 2017 Congressional baseball shooting – is a reminder that this careless rhetoric, always escalating the stakes, isn’t merely a game.