It has not yet been a week since Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed and many of us are still catching our breaths after the #MeToo cat-fight which the Left catapulted upon him. When it was evident that uncorroborated rape allegations weren’t going to keep him off the court, they threw a shrieking, door-clawing tantrum with the likes of Alyssa Milano and Amy Schumer in their ranks.
Outside the Supreme Court, crowds gathered from both sides to hear the outcome of the confirmation. Among the chanting, a young man and woman taunted a septuagenarian counter-protester who held a Kavanaugh sign in support of his confirmation. While onlookers did nothing, a woman gyrated in a circle around the older man, and when she couldn’t get a reaction, she smacked the sign out of his hand. She was later arrested. Meanwhile, inside the halls of the Capitol, screaming women surrounded senators exiting elevators yelling “Shame! Shame!”
What the heck has happened to the Democratic Party?
[Also read: Trump: 'The centrist Democratic Party is dead']
It’s not like Republicans don’t know how they feel. Republicans have endured liberal Supreme Court appointments and have strongly objected to election outcomes. But they do not then shout, “Not my president! Not my judge! Impeach! Impeach!” Rather, they recognize that there is a process that provides for a peaceful transition of power, whether in the White House or on the Supreme Court, and that whether citizens like or don’t like the outcome, they come together as a united country at the conclusion of it. That doesn’t mean they settle for the outcome; it means that those who are not content work even harder, within the processes that our country provides, to change the outcome the next time around.
After every election is another; after every appointment is another. Yet we remain one nation.
Civility is neither passivity nor neutrality. It is respect for the rights of those with whom we disagree to nevertheless conduct their daily lives in this nation in peace.
Each year, those who object to Democrat dogmas like abortion on demand, march in protest to the Supreme Court against unjust abortion laws. (In fact, some of those pro-life citizens who march belong to the Democratic Party. But the platform of their party has no room for their views). Pro-lifers manage to march without profanity, without dressing in caricatures of genitalia, and without inviting speakers who want to blow up the White House. They don’t claw and shriek on the doors of the Supreme Court like we witnessed last weekend.
Some people say that our country is so polarized, that there is no more possibility of discourse left, and that civility has gone out the window. It is one thing to wrestle with seemingly irreconcilable differences, or to hammer out difficult compromises. Married couples have to do this all the time. But that is quite different than resorting to abuse, slander, bullying, and manipulation to get one’s way. It’s as if Democratic leaders have stopped following the rules. The message is, “We will not cooperate, not stop screaming, not stop obstructing, until you put us in power.” One cannot can’t negotiate with a bully.
Nor is this activity being supported simply by some misguided people on the fringes of society. If senators are being accosted outside elevators, it’s because Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is telling people to “get up in the face of some Congresspeople”. If bullies think there’s no problem harassing Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz while they are eating dinner with their families, we can thank Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who has called on supporters to harrass Trump cabinet members in restaurants, department stores and gas stations.
True to form, they have done just that. But it hasn’t stopped there. Now apparently, it’s okay to harass kids in Trump hats and throw soft drinks at them when they are eating at fast food joints. Former Attorney General Eric Holder has said, “When they go low, we kick ‘em. That’s what this new Democrat Party is about.” Last week, a young man dressed in a lavender sweatshirt and leggings roundhouse-kicked a pro-life protester in another part of the country. Who’s really stooping low?
If there is no civility remaining in political discourse, it’s because the Left has shown itself is incapable of it. The abuse needs to stop. We need to pray, recognizing that this is a spiritual battle. And just as urgently, we need to be involved in those processes that secure peaceful transition of power in our nation. This midterm election is going to be a choice between mob rule or the rule of law, between constant obstruction or constructive debate, and between a party that has lost its mind and one that has lowered our taxes, strengthened our military, protected our borders, secured our religious liberty, and, most importantly, advanced the protection of the weakest among us – the children in the womb.
Father Frank Pavone (@frfrankpavone) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is the national director of Priests for Life.