Pollak: Has the Left Toned Down Its Rhetoric Since Alexandria?

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On June 14, 2017, a crazed left-wing gunman attacked Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice in a park in Alexandria, Virginia.

The shooter supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and reportedly volunteered for his presidential campaign in  2016. He reportedly asked whether the players were Republicans or Democrats before opening fire. And he was also an avid consumer of left-wing media, as well as a fan of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

The Alexandria shooting was a clear case of politically-motivated domestic terrorism. The shooter clearly drew his inspiration from left-wing politicians and left-wing media.

But we did not see the media doing to Democrats what they have been doing to President Donald Trump: they never looked for ways to blame Sanders or Maddow or any other prominent personalities, through the use of shared rhetoric or “dog whistle” code words or general incivility.

Still, given the connection between the shooter’s motivations, and some of the things Democrats were saying at the time about Trump being a kind of Hitler-in-waiting, it would have been reasonable to expect that the media and the opposition would have exercised some kind of restraint.

But the opposite has happened. Democratic presidential contenders openly compare the Trump administration to the Third Reich — and the media do not check them at all.

Nor do the media talk about how the gunman who carried out a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month was a left-wing nutcase who supported Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and backed violence against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They have focused instead on the mass shooter in El Paso, Texas, the day before, who left a manifesto detailing his racist motivations.

True, the Dayton shooter did not leave a manifesto. But even when left-wing terrorists leave manifestos, the media ignore them.

A man who was killed trying to attack an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington last month left a manifesto identifying himself as a member of Antifa and using the term “concentration camp” to describe detention facilities for illegal aliens — the same language several prominent Democrats have used. The media show no interest in holding Democrats responsible for inspiring him.

The media realize it is generally absurd and divisive to blame Democrats for the crazed, murderous actions of a few disturbed individuals. But they believe it is beyond obvious that President Trump is somehow responsible for events like El Paso, or the Pittsburgh synagogue attack last year — even though the shooters disavowed Trump.

Meanwhile, Democrats call Trump a white supremacist and form gauntlets at his rallies. They do it because the media let them.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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