Richard Greene

Some using tragedy to try to influence this election

Retiring area Congressman Joe Barton has described in petrified detail how he and his two sons could have lost their lives at a Republican baseball team practice 16 months ago.

“If House Majority Whip Steve Scalise had not been a member of the team and, because of his leadership role in the House and under the protection of three Capitol Police officers, we all could have been killed.”

James Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist, had come to the baseball field heavily armed with plans to kill as many Republican members of Congress as he could. Upward of 100 shots were fired during the shootout before police officers managed to take Hodgkinson down.

Scalise was shot in the hip and tried to drag himself off the field in an attempt to get to safety. Also shot was one of the police officers assigned to protect Scalise, a congressional aide, and a lobbyist.

The fanatical gunman whose Facebook posts connected to calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump added to the link what he felt was his role in dealing with members of the president’s party.

“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

His Wikipedia history describes him as being obsessed with hatred for Republicans. He was aligned with social media groups including those named “Terminate the Republican Party” and “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans.”

There is a record of him having written 27 letters between 2008 and 2012 to the editor of his town’s newspaper, many of which were anti-Republican.

In the 2016 presidential election he had identified U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders as the candidate he hoped would prevail. Apparently passionate about his chosen leader, he went to work for Sanders. He called for the transformation of the country into what he described as “democratic socialism” next to a photo he posted of a smiling Sen. Sanders.

Sanders’ response to the shooting was to be expected. “I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act.”

Then, this reaction? “Bernie Sanders bears responsibility for this tragedy. His rhetoric about the evils of Republican policies and their corporate buddies lining their pockets obviously inflamed Hodgkinson and caused him to start shooting up Republicans” – words printed and broadcast by exactly zero of the nation’s news and television media. Nor were such words ever uttered by any leader of the Republican Party.

Now we witness the unspeakable act of a deranged, anti-Semitic madman who also despises Trump, killing 11 innocent people in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, responding to a baited question from a CNN anchor trolling for a comment to place the blame on Trump, replied with wisdom, “Hate does not know religion, race, creed, political party. It’s not a political issue in any way, shape or form.

“The president of the United States is always welcome. I am a citizen, he is my president. He is always welcome (in my synagogue).”

Mere hours after the tragedy, other shameful media types and some Democrats alike seized on the horrific act in a despicable, fully transparent effort to influence the outcome of Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Everyone with even a moment’s pause to reflect upon the very notion of such contemptible behavior should ask themselves if this is who we are as the people of the freest nation on the planet.

The world is watching. What will we show them?

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and lectures at UT Arlington.