Peaceful Florida citizens holding Trump signs were minding their own business in Dunnellon, Fla., last Thursday when a man rushed at them with a cane sword.
Police arrested 49-year-old James L. Whitehurst II and charged him with 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of disorderly conduct, the Ocala Star Banner reported.
Victims reportedly told police that Whitehurst had approached them during their peaceful assembly with what was described as a cane sword. The assailant allegedly pointed the sword in their faces and made threatening statements, holding the blade 6 inches from their faces.
Whitehurst confessed to having removed the sword from its holder and pointing it at the Trump supporters. He told police he meant no harm by the threatening action.
This assault took place amid a flurry of new attacks on actual or perceived Trump supporters. On Saturday, a man crashed his van into a tent where Trump campaign volunteers were registering voters. That driver later confessed his animosity to Trump and compared the president to “someone s****ing on your grave.” Earlier this week, a woman sucker-punched a man in a New York City bar because he wore a MAGA-style hat reading “Make Fifty Great Again.”
These attacks remind me of the assault against Minnesota state House candidate Shane Mekeland. An angry man sucker-punched him in the head in 2018, while accusing Mekeland of not caring about the middle class. Mekeland blamed Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Attorney General Eric Holder for instigating this kind of violence. “They’re constantly driving this narrative of ‘It’s okay to be violent,'” he told PJ Media.
Waters called for activists to harass members of the Trump administration in public places like gas stations and restaurants. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) encouraged activists to “get up in the face” of Republican candidates and office-holders. Hillary Clinton said Democrats “cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.” Eric Holder declared, “When they go low, we kick them.”
Liberals who routinely demonize Trump and his supporters as fascists or Nazis are fostering this culture of animosity and fear. Americans must return to civility.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.