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Assault on America, Day 296: Rand Paul gives civility lesson to nation at war over politics

Rand Paul Civility
Think about it. How important is civility in our everyday lives?

It’s a topic that receives an awful lot of attention these days. With Donald Trump on the verge of impeachment (inspired by a Democrat witch hunt based on false charges and phony inferences of wrongdoing and abuse of powers) and about half the country reacting hyperactively every time the president speaks or appears in his official capacity, it’s hard to show your face in public if you’re a Republican or conservative recognized as a Trump supporter without being accosted by an antagonist with a beef and a bone to pick.

These cretins have the benefit of anonymity, but they could be anywhere.

It seems like reports surface every day of leftists in different locales leaping off the mental reservation to verbally -- and sometimes physically -- assault an innocent conservative bystander because of his or her political beliefs. In June of last year California Rep. Maxine Waters goaded like-minded liberals to “push back on” Trump administration officials in restaurants, gasoline stations or shopping malls “and you tell them they’re not welcome!” so as to take away their use and enjoyment of common, ordinary pleasures and necessities citizens in a free society take for granted.

Unfortunately, some Democrats seem to be taking Waters’ provocations literally. Jessica Chasmar reported at The Washington Times, “Sen. Rand Paul blasted ‘incivility’ on the left after he was berated by a couple of New Yorkers in a California restaurant Friday.

“Mr. Paul and his deputy chief of staff posted a 24-second clip of the exchange that has racked up more than 2 million views. In it, a man and a woman can be seen confronting the Kentucky Republican about his political leanings...

“The video then turns to the woman, who appears irate, saying, ‘You just ran into two people from New York, kiddo, and we are not putting up with your Republican bulls—t!’ ‘All I am saying,’ the man continues, calmly speaking to Mr. Paul, ‘is that while you and I possibly, probably, don’t have much in common politically, we are Americans. All right?’”

Chasmar additionally reported that Paul retweeted the short clip as a defense of President Trump, writing, “The left blames incivility on @realDonaldTrump. Watch this video and decide who the rude ones are…”

The video itself doesn’t show much other than the man speaking to Paul (not pictured) in a fairly restrained voice and his enraged on-the-cusp-of-a-breakdown (presumed) wife throwing a fit when she is put on camera by Sergio Gor (Paul’s staffer). The lady was holding up her phone as though taking video of the incident herself and didn’t appreciate the favor being returned. The news article didn’t mention whether the woman’s taping eventually made its way to social media somewhere. Who knows, maybe George Soros put these people up to the whole thing.

One other thing -- the self-righteous New Yorker hag also flipped the bird to Gor’s camera. Nice. You almost want to put an arm around the woman and coolly ask her why she’s so troubled and fuming over politics. Are Trump’s trade policies evoking this kind of desperation? Or his fight for a border barrier with Mexico? What about the president’s regulation-slicing strategies or his drive to promote American energy production?

Maybe it’s because the woman’s upset that President Trump asked the Ukrainian president for a favor in getting to the bottom of purported “Russian interference” in the 2016 election. Or perhaps she’s a dedicated Joe Biden fan who didn’t appreciate the president’s inference that vice presidential son Hunter Biden was less than on-the-level about his Ukrainian business dealings. The younger Biden’s apparently had a number of dubious liaisons with folks in China and Ukraine. Maybe his crooked shenanigans extend far beyond the obvious and he’s got defenders planted in spots (like California) to harass anyone who suspects him or his father.

Could it be the woman figured she’s too elderly and physically decrepit to march with the brick and urine-bomb wielding black hooded Antifa scum and instead is reduced to pestering GOP senators in random eating establishments? It’s not like Paul was making a speech on a college campus or appearing at a meeting of the local Trump 2020 club (if there even is such a group on the bluer than blue left coast). It looks like the Kentucky senator was simply having lunch and this couple of angry geriatric liberal derelicts decided it was their perfect chance to vent a little of their outrage to an elected official.

Regrettably, Paul knows all about being attacked by leftist loons, having been blindsided tackled in his front yard by an unbalanced neighbor while mowing his grass. His injuries were so severe that he had to have part of a lung removed just a couple months ago (two years after the incident). Obviously, the memories are still fresh for Paul, which certainly doesn’t help when complete strangers approach in a public eatery and start lecturing on civility in politics. Was this couple aware of Paul’s special circumstances (still recovering from injuries) or are they just especially callous and opportunistic at their good fortune of coming across a Republican -- a rare breed, indeed -- in the Golden State?

Would they have reacted similarly if they by chance encountered Hillary Clinton? In her rant, the woman (who, to me, kind of resembles Ruth Bader Ginsburg) shouted “Republican bulls--t”, so we know she had partisanship on the brain (and an acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome). Why is it we keep hearing tales of liberals and Democrats doing all the approaching and sermonizing on civility? Are there similar accounts of conservatives and Republicans getting in the faces of Obama backers during his eight years in the White House? Can’t think of one offhand -- but those conservatives, they’re so civilized!

Paul’s happenstance certainly wasn’t the first example of this type of erratic leftist belief-stifling behavior, just the latest. Last year (in June) then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was hounded while eating at a DC area Mexican restaurant. It was during the height of the “family separation” disinformation campaign waged by Democrats and their media enablers to try and derail immigration enforcement. Video of the sad and sorry affair was over eleven minutes long -- all the while the secretary simply ignored the selfish and rude nutcases and continued on with her meal despite the hostile serenade.

Then, in September, Senator Ted Cruz was verbally molested while eating a quiet dinner with his wife during the confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Cruz’s idiot accusers chanted “We believe survivors!” until the Texas senator decided he’d had enough and left the establishment, fearing they would get violent if he stuck around. It even looks like the restaurant staff allowed the couple to leave via an emergency exit. How fitting.

Where does it end? Why can’t we talk to each other anymore? Is this the worst it’s ever been?

Maybe, maybe not. The Founding Fathers fought their own non-shooting civility war in the late 1790’s when rancorous divisions emerged after the birth of the first party system. President John Adams and his fellow Federalists deeply distrusted Vice President Thomas Jefferson and his core group of Democratic Republicans. A split developed over whether to support revolutionary ally France in its internal liberty pursuit (a.k.a., revolution) as well as the country’s ongoing war with Great Britain. Washington had battled to keep the new country neutral and out of entangling foreign alliances during his two groundbreaking terms as president.

A brawl even broke out on the floor of the House of Representatives between Roger Griswold and Matthew Lyon in 1798. A famous cartoon depicts the two going at it armed with a cane and fire tongs. It was ugly.

The animosity got so bad Adams helped push through the Alien & Sedition Acts, perhaps the greatest infringement on liberties this country’s ever experienced. Former friends and patriots Adams and Jefferson became sworn enemies (especially after Adams left office with his famous midnight judicial appointments.). Political leaders barely spoke to each other and it looked for a time as though the young republic might not survive after the death of George Washington in December of 1799. They were dark days, indeed.*

For what it’s worth, Adams and Jefferson reconciled years later and frequently corresponded during the twilight years of their lives. Maybe there’s hope for us after all.

Senator Paul happens to be very civil himself and gets along famously with ideological friend and foe alike. Heck, even ultra-leftist Kamala Harris floated Paul’s name during the last Democrat presidential candidates’ debate when asked if there was a Republican she could work with if elected. Paul lets his arguments do the fighting, if that makes sense -- but it doesn’t keep him from advocating for his principles. Rand’s done it in a new book (The Case Against Socialism), too.

W. James Antle, III wrote at The American Conservative, “Much of Paul’s book is devoted to pointing out that when socialism is taken to its most radical conclusions, it degenerates into starvation and death camps, not playing cute AOC videos on your iPhone or wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt on your college campus. Critics will undoubtedly quibble that the Democrats are advocating a New Deal liberalism on steroids that falls well short of communism or National Socialism. But as the ideological underpinnings of capitalism are coming under new questioning, similar pushback against socialism is only—to use a word much beloved by socialists—fair.

“’My hope is that the next generation will understand that free markets and free people have produced better health, longer life expectancy, and reduced poverty and suffering around the world,’ Paul concludes. ‘My hope is that they will choose liberty.’ A real social base and electoral coalition (as Paul, the winner of two elections and the son of a man elected to Congress three times as a non-incumbent, surely knows) as well as economics instruction and appeals to abstract principle is necessary. But The Case Against Socialism is a start.”

If anything, Rand Paul is the antithesis of the un-civil politician. He speaks softly, doesn’t name-call, pushes hard for peace and non-intervention and uses the tools of his office (including the talking filibuster) to make a point even when he stands alone. He doesn’t yell -- or flip the bird in someone’s face -- either.

We certainly won’t find him haranguing political opponents in a restaurant. How gauche.

Civility is certainly important in today’s contentious political environment, but it’s up to both sides to keep things under control and not cast the first insult. No one deserves being lambasted in a public place simply because of differences in opinion, a lesson that liberals apparently ignore time and again.

*Thanks to Colonial Williamsburg for providing numerous important historical lessons and putting today’s contentious political environment in context. Who says we can’t learn from the past?

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