Disturbed

I was working on creating a motion graphic to tease an upcoming ABCNJ event yesterday when I received a message from a friend,

America is descending into oblivion and we’re here to see the start of it.

And that’s how I found out about the pipe bombs.

The opening “act” of this story continued Thursday morning with a new suspicious package appearing, this time addressed to Robert De Niro. I wouldn’t be shocked if there aren’t more discovered.

So far the list of intended recipients of these bombs is:

  • George Soros
  • Barack Obama
  • Hillary Clinton
  • John Brennan (CNN Offices
  • Robert Di Niro
  • Maxine Waters (two locations)
  • Eric Holder (through Rep. Wasserman Shultz’s office)
  • Joe Biden

In response, last night Sean Hannity opened his show saying the right thing, calling these acts “pure evil.” And then he revealed a profound lack of introspection and attacked “The Left” for trying to score “cheap political points” even though we don’t know who perpetrated these acts of terror 1.

Folks, if we are to not sink as a country, as my friend put it, “into oblivion,” then the one thing we cannot afford is a lack of introspection. When something like this happens, and the targets of an act of violence are the same people we insinuate are evil in our spheres of influence, we have to break the destructive habit of “defending the cause.” Because once we shift to defending the cause, we weaken our ability to ask ourselves, “Did I contribute to this?” And this is what Hannity’s monologue exhibits, an inability to ask that profound and much-needed question. Instead he declared that “no conservative that I know or would support” such a measure, and that he has always said that violence is unacceptable.

And, look, I don’t think Sean Hannity wakes up in the morning and thinks how he can provoke people to violence. I think he really believes liberal ideology is bad for the country and uses his platform to make his views known. But the rhetoric he uses is all meant to provoke fear in his audience. And when people are made afraid enough, the result is too often violence 2. That’s what we’re seeing, and it’s no shock that the targets of these attacks are the very same people President Trump routinely attacks in order to whip up a reaction. In fact, President Trump doubled-down on this rhetoric this morning in a tweet.

A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!

This is an unacceptable statement for the current occupant of the Oval Office to make. It is not an exercise of public service, it is a deflection of responsibility for anger which has been purposely stoked for his own ends. It is wrong 3.

And for people who might be grumbling that I’m picking on conservatives, please understand I am a political liberal, my Christian faith and my study of the Baptist tradition is what brings me to this space. I do not, however, consider myself a “progressive” because I too often see this same lack of introspection among those defenders of “the cause.” And this is not a “both sides are bad” argument that both conservatives and progressives like to throw out as an easily torched straw man. I think conservatives and progressives are, at this point, the same side. Both clans agree that there must be only one winner and will do anything to achieve victory — even spreading the very misinformation and fear which leads to political violence. Their “side” is people who find their identity in relationship to their enemies. The fight is only over who should be on the roster.

We are in desperate need of rapid growth of corporate and individual introspection. It isn’t as cathartic in the short run 4, but it might actually bring about change.


  1. And I do have to give props that he actually called this an act of terror. 
  2. When you invoke the image of “mob rule,” you are sending a signal that people need to “defend that castle.” 
  3. And if you’re screaming, “But what about fake news!” you need to stop. Reporting things that are unfavorable to your ideology or political figures does not make them “fake” or “hateful.” It just makes them uncomfortable. When journalists get caught in a lie careers end, and should. When journalists call out the president’s penchant for pulling statements out of his rear end that’s called “good reporting.” 
  4. It’s a lot more satisfying to feed our addiction to our clans and “rage post.” 

2 Thoughts

  1. Good post. I would actually recommend the term extremist vs. conservative/progressive. Around the midwest progressive is a term that is held in pretty high regard, as someone who is open to new ideas, and wants to work together to move things forward.

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