“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.” — Abraham Lincoln, Jan. 27, 1838
This editorial is being written in the aftermath of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during a child-naming ceremony. Another mass shooting in America, another act of extreme hatred. In this case, a brand of murderous hatred with deep roots in other countries going back centuries.
And now one, based on recent history, that seems to have taken root in our country, circa fall 2018. Swastikas have been displayed at far-right gatherings; people have been photographed with their right arms sticking straight out trying to look like Nazi goons. The far right — and some political conservatives — have made financier George Soros, who was born Jewish, a symbol of the “globalist,” a member of the moneyed elite who finances progressive causes.
Some mouths on TV stations promoting such lies say Mr. Soros paid for the caravan of thousands that at week’s end was 1,000 miles south of the American-Mexico border, heading our way.
Some history: Mr. Soros was born in Hungary and was 13 when the Germans demanded the country deport its Jewish citizens in cattle cars to death camps in Poland. He evaded the deportation by hiding as a Christian and survived the war. “Globalist” is a thin disguise for antisemitism — the wealthy, international Jew pulling the strings. Google Protocols of the Elders of Zion if you need some context.
Shouting antisemitic slurs, Robert D. Bowers entered the synagogue armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and pistols. The AR-15 is a weapon favored by America’s mass killers. Even a Hitler-lover like Bowers can walk into his corner gun shop and buy one. Some politicians have been known to raffle them off at fundraisers.
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, armed with a Bushmaster XM15 assault rifle and 10 magazines — each one holding 30 rounds — walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and slaughtered 20 six- and seven-year-old children. Lanza’s supportive mother, whom he also killed, bought him the Bushmaster, which is similar to the AR-15.
The murder of Jews in the synagogue in the historic Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh came a day after federal authorities arrested an alleged Donald Trump superfan in Florida on charges that he mailed 14 pipe bombs to Democrats and critics of the president, including two former presidents, a former CIA director, and a former director of National Intelligence. One of the 14 bombs was mailed to Mr. Soros.
Images were broadcast on television of the man’s truck. It was covered with stickers showing his enemies with a rifle’s crosshairs on their faces. He parked his truck where he worked and places where he slept. Many people saw it. We wonder just how far a Muslim man driving that same truck with those same stickers on them would have gotten. Not far. This goon, drowning in partisan hatred, drove all over with it.
Next Tuesday is Election Day in America, a day for us to show how democracy works. It is our day to pick the leaders we want representing us and our values and deciding how our hard-earned money should be spent. In light of recent events in our country, here is a rule of thumb: if a public official, or someone running for public office, thinks a person has the “right” – in a category with the right of free speech or freedom of religion — to own a military-style assault weapon with an oversized magazine, that person should be shown the door.
The Lincoln quote at the top of this piece comes from a speech he made in Illinois. His speech was about how slavery was ripping the country to pieces. He spoke in the aftermath of a free black man being burned to death by a mob in St. Louis and the murder of a newspaper editor by a pro-slavery mob.
We are awash in partisan horror right now. Bowers’ pro-Hitler, kill-the-Jews social media postings are straight out of the Nazi years in Germany. Grotesque conspiracy theories abound. Some politicians lie every time they open their mouths. In just recent days, some even said the flurry of bombs mailed to Trump’s critics was fakery by the Democrats trying to help them on Election Day next week.
Some of our fellow citizens talk like they want a revolution to enforce their vision of America. Based on recent events, that revolution is already underway. Its bombs have already been mailed, its shots have already been fired.