What Can Be Done About Political Polarization?

Many people have written about the extreme political polarization in the United States today. However, few people have suggested any way to end it—or at least reduce it to normal, manageable levels—other than saying that the other side should be more reasonable. On this subject, there are three questions we should consider:

  1. How extreme is the political polarization today?
  2. If it is worse than in the past, why did it become so bad?
  3. What, if anything, can be done to end it?

How extreme is today’s political polarization?

Angry feelings between “liberals” and “conservatives” or between Democrats and Republicans have always been commonplace, but there have been periods when they were more intense than usual. Two such periods were the Vietnam War (roughly 1960-1975) and the McCarthy era (roughly 1950-1954).

I lived through both periods, and it seems to me that polarization is more extreme today. I have asked others who lived through those times, and they agree that divisions have never been sharper.

In 1952, at the height of McCarthy era, a Republican Dwight Eisenhower was elected president. Those who had supported his Democratic opponent, Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, were disappointed, but they accepted the results without protest. In contrast, when Donald Trump won the general election there were immediate calls for members of the Electoral College to ignore the will of the voters and vote against him. The addresses of various electors were printed, together with physical threats against them; no prominent Democratic politician publicly denounced these threats. Calls for Donald Trump to be impeached started shortly after the election, even before he had taken office.

The protests against the Vietnam War were both intense and widespread. However, there were never open suggestions that the presidents prosecuting the war should be assassinated. Yet recently, a prominent TV “humorist” posted an image of herself holding up President Trump’s severed head. Kathy Griffin is hardly alone. Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and Robert De Niro are among at least a dozen leftist celebrities who have fantasized about killing or attacking the President.

Kathy Griffin Beheads Donald Trump

Kathy Griffin

A production in New York City of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar includes an actor dressed as Donald Trump being stabbed to death—as the audiences applauds enthusiastically. I have attended various productions of that play, and there was never any applause when Caesar was assassinated even though Julius Caesar, unlike Donald Trump, had staged a military coup that had overthrown constitutional rule in Rome, and had then taken the title “dictator for life.”

A few weeks ago, a deranged left-winger began shooting Republican congressmen who were practicing for a baseball game. Most people, including leading Democrats, were rightly horrified, but not all. Sonia Gupta, a former prosecutor from Congressman Scalise’s home state of Louisiana, tweeted: “Before you start dropping to your knees to pray for Steve Scalise, remember that he is a racist piece of shit and hateful bigot.” I can recall nothing remotely as venomous when President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt in 1981.

As this interactive map shows, there have been hundreds of attacks on Trump supporters since the election. Richard Spencer was sucker-punched by a stranger on inauguration day. Charles Murray was attacked at Middlebury College, and Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter were prevented from speaking at Berkeley by violence and threats of violence. It is now routine to withdraw invitations from conservative speakers or to shout them down if they try to speak.

Richard Spencer punch

Richard Spencer being punched on inauguration day.

Hostility now extends to ordinary people, not just politicians and prominent figures. In 1960, only 4 percent of Democrats and 5 percent of Republicans said they would not like it if a child of theirs married someone from the other party. By 2010, the figures had risen to 33 percent for Democrats and 49 percent for Republicans, and levels of hostility are surely higher today.

What causes extreme polarization?

There seems to be little agreement about what has caused this level of polarization. Economic conditions are not worse than normal. Military casualty rates are not high. Crime rates are not unusually high. Stores are bulging with goods, and people are buying them. Many people are enjoying obvious luxuries such as foreign travel and trips on cruise ships. Life expectancy at birth—a good measure of the general health of the population—is at or near a record high. Racial antagonisms are not clearly worse than they have been in the past.

Liberals and conservatives are badly divided on issues such as abortion, how progressive tax rates should be, and how large transfer payments should be. However, that has always been the case, and such disagreements cannot explain the extraordinary level of political polarization, nor its steady growth.

I would note that the increasing division between the two parties is not due to the Republican Party moving to right, but to the increasingly leftwing march of the Democratic Party. Donald Trump is less conservative than Ronald Reagan was in 1980, and to the left of Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. Compare, for example, their stands on immigration, school integration, abortion, or gay rights. However, the policies of the Democratic Party have altered greatly since 1952. Compare, for example, its current positions on free speech, abortion, and racial quotas with the views of Hubert Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy.

I would like to make two suggestions as to the possible causes of extreme and growing polarization. They are not mutually exclusive, and both may play a role.

First, I believe loss of faith in our country—most evident among the college educated—is a result of a slow, long term decline in religious belief. A belief in Christianity was the glue that held our country together through earlier difficulties. As that faith wanes, our divisions become harder to bridge. Note that Edward Gibbon, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, suggested that loss of faith in the old Roman religion was a major factor in the fall of Rome.

By this I am not suggesting that Jews are naturally unpatriotic because they are not Christians. The theological differences between religious Jews and religious Christians are minor compared with the differences between believers and non-believers, and orthodox Jews tend to be politically conservative. There are also many who are not religious but who still love and honor the United States, but this is not necessarily true of many atheists and agnostics.

Second, during the Vietnam War, many young people—particularly college students—lost their faith in the essential goodness of the United States. Instead, they came to think of this country as basically imperialist and racist—a force for evil. In the course of time, these radicalized students became professors, and large numbers of their students have been propagandized to accept similar views. The result is polarization, which is particularly marked among the college educated.

If these explanations for our current high level of political polarization are correct, we cannot expect tensions to subside any time soon.

What can we do?

There are several alternatives.

  1. Try to cooperate with Democrats to reduce hostilities
  2. Do nothing, and hope that polarization will go away, or at least not get worse
  3. Try to crush our opponents militarily
  4. Work for a peaceful partition of the country

Cooperation with Democrats sounds reasonable, and I have no objection to trying it, but I don’t think it will succeed. Most of the leaders of the Democratic Party are not interested in reducing ill will, but prefer to increase suspicion and hatred of the other party. They have been charging Trump with stealing the election, and have been calling for impeachment. Some of them even claim that impeachment is not enough, and that he should be tried for treason and executed! They constantly call Mr. Trump a fascist and compare him to Hitler, which suggests that his assassination would be acceptable, and even praiseworthy.

Doing nothing and hoping for the best will not accomplish anything. A continuation of the present situation is just what we want to avoid; it is clearly unstable. Wishful thinking has never been a sound policy.

The last time polarization was high as it is today, the result was civil war. Abraham Lincoln crushed his opposition militarily, at a cost of about 1.5 percent of the population (that would be over four million dead today). We must avoid a civil war if at all possible.

I think the best way to deal with extreme polarization is to break up the United States into separate countries. In one of them, Democrats and left-wing voters would be in the majority. In another, Republicans and conservatives would be the majority. Within each country there would be far less polarization than there is now in the United States.

This is obviously a drastic step, and many people shrink from even considering it. However, there are many instances of countries being partitioned successfully, and in the great majority of cases, partition worked out for the best.

  • Norway split from Sweden in 1905
  • Singapore split from Malaysia in 1965
  • Bangladesh split from Pakistan in 1971
  • Cyprus was divided into a Greek part and a Turkish part in 1974
  • The Soviet Union broke into 15 separate nations in 1990-1991
  • Yugoslavia broke into seven independent nations in the early 1990s
  • Czechoslovakia split in two in 1993

I have written a book, Restoring America that describes how the United States might be successfully partitioned. It answers such questions as: How would boundaries be determined? What would happen to liberals living in a conservative area and vice versa? What political procedures would be needed for the breakup? How would the armed forces be divided?

The current state of polarization is not sustainable. We should begin thinking now about realistic, humane ways to defuse tensions that are likely only to get worse.

Restoring America by Michael Hart

Mexicans and Drunk Driving

It is common to read news accounts of Hispanics involved in drunk-driving accidents. Most Hispanics in the United States are mestizos, which means they have some level of Amerindian ancestry. Does this make them more susceptible to drunkenness and alcoholism, and does this contribute to higher rates of traffic fatalities? Not as much as one might expect.

Credit Image: © Image Source/ZUMAPRESS.com

A 2015 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reports that Hispanics are less likely than whites to say that they drink: 54.5 percent of Hispanics and 70.3 percent of whites say they have had at least one drink in the past year. However, the same report finds that:

Hispanics who do drink are likely to drink more than whites. Forty-two point four percent of Hispanics who drink regularly consume three or more drinks “per drinking day.” The figure for whites is 31.6 percent. They are also more likely to “binge drink,” defined as five or more drinks at a time.

One third of Hispanics who become alcohol dependent have recurrent or persistent problems, compared to 22.8 percent of whites.

Hispanics with severe alcohol problems are less likely than whites to seek treatment. Hispanics also are less likely to join Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), even though Spanish-language AA groups are available for no charge.

Hispanic men have a higher rate of alcohol-related cirrhosis of liver than any other demographic group.

The average Mexican-American man has 15.9 alcoholic drinks per week, put Puerto Ricans are the heaviest Hispanic drinkers at an average of 16.9 drinks a week. Curiously, Puerto Rican women are much heavier drinkers than other Hispanics. At 9.5 drinks a week, they consume more than three times as much alcohol as Mexican-American women.

Among Hispanics who drink, Mexican-American men and women and South/Central American men are most likely to receive a DUI citation—Puerto Ricans and Cubans are less likely.

Are American Indians and Hispanics more susceptible than other groups to alcohol? The NIH reports on genetic predisposition to alcoholism and the genetics of alcohol metabolism:

Alcohol is metabolized by several pathways, the most common of which involves two key enzymes—alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Genetic differences in these enzymes may help to explain why some groups of people have higher or lower rates of alcohol-related problems. For example, certain variations in the genes that produce ADH and ALDH have been shown to have a protective effect in that they lead to an increased production of acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct of alcohol metabolism that can cause adverse physical reactions, such as facial flushing, nausea, and rapid heart beat. . . .

Native Americans and Alaskan Natives are five times more likely than other ethnicities in the United States to die of alcohol-related causes. Native Americans are predisposed to alcoholism because of differences in the way they metabolize alcohol.

Because we live in a time of “cultural sensitivity,” one must sometimes seek out decades-old research to find scientific data on group differences. The Harvard Gazette of June 27, 1980, reported that Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Inc. donated $5.8 million to Harvard Medical School to conduct research into the “biological, chemical, and genetic aspects of alcohol metabolism and alcoholism.”

A team of researchers under Dr. Bert Vallee found 15 distinct forms of the alcohol dehyrogenase (ADH) liver enzyme, and that different races had a “typical variation and type of these isoenzymes.” The study presented abundant evidence of widely different physiological reactions to alcohol among people of different races.

Under the Influence, written by Dr. James R. Milam and Katharine Ketcham in 1981, notes the following:

Another interesting finding of recent research is the discovery that a direct relationship exists between the length of time an ethnic group has been exposed to alcohol and the rate of alcoholism within that group. Jews and Italians, for example, have had access to large amounts of alcohol for more than 7,000 years and their alcoholism rate is very low. Alcohol was first introduced in quantity to the Northern European countries, including France, Ireland, and the Scandinavian countries, some 1,500 years ago, and the rates of alcoholism are relatively higher there. Native Americans, who suffer from extremely high alcoholism rates, did not have large supplies of alcohol until approximately 300 years ago.

These differences in susceptibility are exactly what we should expect given the fact that alcoholism is a hereditary disease. The implication is that the longer an ethnic group is exposed to alcohol, the lower its members’ susceptibility to alcoholism. This relationship is consistent with the principle of natural selection whereby those people with a high genetic susceptibility are eliminated over many generations, resulting in a lower susceptibility rate for the entire group. (pp. 43-44)

Do these differences result in different rates of DUI arrest? Data are not available at the national level because Hispanic criminals are almost always classed as “white.” California, however, treats Hispanics as a separate category, and state records show that Hispanics are 24.4 percent more likely than whites to be arrested for drunk driving. Blacks are 66 percent more likely.

Hispanics are not, however, markedly more likely than whites to die in traffic accidents. A 2006 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report found that blacks, whites, and Hispanics all died in accidents at about the same rate: 12.27 to 12.50 per 100,000 population. The outliers were American Indians, who died at 31.17 per 100,000, and Asians at 4.00 per 100,000.

The same report found race differences in the percentages of drivers who were drunk when they died in car crashes. Indians lead with 53 percent, with other races as follows: Hispanics: 40 percent, blacks: 31 percent, whites: 30 percent, Asians: 17 percent. Likewise, when pedestrians were killed in auto accidents, American Indians were most likely to be drunk, followed by Hispanics, blacks, whites, and finally Asians.

There are race differences in the percentage of automobile occupants who were not wearing seat belts when they died in a crash: Indians: 73 percent, blacks: 59 percent, whites and Hispanics: 47 percent, Asians 22 percent. Alcohol is not the only contributors to race differences in traffic fatalities.

Despite genetic predisposition for Amerindians and mestizos, rates for alcohol-related road accidents for Hispanics are not markedly higher from those for whites. However, Hispanics probably do not drive as many miles per year as whites, and their accident rates would be higher if they did.

Many Hispanics come from countries with driving cultures different from ours. For example, in six Mexican states and in Mexico City, agencies that issue drivers licenses do not require a test of any kind. You need only pay a fee. In Mexico City, the fee is about $60, and you sign a document saying you know how to drive. Three other states require the applicant to take a class, after which everyone gets a license, while many other states give tests consisting of easy multiple choice questions. At one time, driver testing was universal, but it is being phased out.

Only 17 of Mexico’s 32 states have legal driving limits for a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Those states are: Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Distrito Federal, Estado de Mexico, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Tamaulipas, and Vera Cruz:  .04; Chihuahua:  .05; Guanajato, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oazaca, Quintana Roo, and Sonora:  .08; and Colima:  .08—10. (Source)

Interestingly, many of the states that do have a BAC limit set it lower than the .08, which is common in the United States.

According to a 2008 estimate by the United Nations’ Pan American Health Organization, 200,000 people drive under the influence of alcohol on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in Mexico City alone.

And what happens when a driver is pulled over in Mexico for speeding, for example?

The Mexican travel website travelyucatan.com gives the following advice:

Speeding is, as a rule, easily taken care of by offering to pay the fine on the spot. If you cannot pay on the spot, one of three things will occur:

-The officer will accept less money. The officer will accompany you to an ATM while waiting around the corner.

-The officer will take your driver’s license and you’ll receive a ticket. You will need to pay the fine to retrieve your driver’s license.

-Sometimes the officer will simply let you off with a warning if you have a good attitude.

You will NOT be arrested.

In October 2011, The Economist reported that 24,000 fatalities occur on Mexico’s roads annually. This is well over the death rate from car accidents in the United States, even though Americans drive many more miles every year than Mexicans. Differences in the quality of highways, signage, illumination, etc., probably contribute to national differences in fatality rates.

The data are therefore mixed. American Indians are particularly susceptible to alcohol problems, but Hispanics living in the United States do not show the same extreme levels of susceptibility.

What Do We Mean by “Biased Media?”

The title of the Washington Post story solemnly read: “Funeral, vigil for Muslim teen killed in attack near mosque draw throngs.

The article notes that the police believe the killing was a result of a road-rage argument, but that they have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime. They haven’t ruled it out because during investigations, very little is ruled out. But there is no evidence to suggest it was a hate crime.

Why was there a vigil and not just a funeral? Vigils are usually for victims of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or freak accidents. Have you ever heard of a vigil for someone who was killed in a road rage incident?

Maybe there was a vigil because people thought the girl, Nabra Hassanen, was killed because she was Muslim, not because she cut someone off. Titles of news stories certainly suggested that:

Community to mourn Muslim teen attacked near mosque” — CNN

Virginia Community Mourns Muslim Teen Killed On Her Way To Mosque” — NPR

Thousands Mourn Nabra Hassanen, the Virginia Teen Who Was Beaten to Death” — Time

Killing of Muslim teen stirs questions about hate crime prosecutions” — Washington Post

Demonstrators gather for a candlelight vigil for Nabra Hassanen and other victims of hate crimes and state violence held at Federal Plaza in Chicago. (Credit Image: © Max Herman/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press)

Needless to say, if this murder was a product of road-rage, the facts that the victim was Muslim and near a Mosque are superfluous. It’s as though the media were trying to insinuate something they know to be false. The Washington Post piece titled “Killing of Muslim teen stirs questions about hate crime prosecutions,” even notes in the second paragraph that police believe it was not a hate crime. The article then adds that the girl’s family want a hate-crime investigation. That is the “questions about hate crime prosecutions” of the title: The family believes it was a hate crime, but has no evidence that it was.

There is more.

The man who killed this girl was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador. None of the stories listed above mentions this—not one. I searched each article for politically correct euphemisms such as “undocumented,” or even just “immigrant.” Most don’t even mention his distinctly Hispanic name, “Darwin Martinez Torres.”

Why would media outlets fail to mention this?

The difference between what happened and what is insinuated is stark. From the headlines, any reader would assume that a white bigot beat a Muslim teenager to death because of her religion. An accurate headline would have been: “Illegal Immigrant Kills Teenage Girl in Road-Rage Incident.”

The mainstream and leftist media don’t actually “lie,” or publish blatant falsehoods so much as distort the truth and skip over details or even entire stories that don’t fit their narrative.

Earlier this week, when a police officer at the Flint, Michigan, airport was stabbed in the neck by a man who screamed “Allahu akbar,” The Guardian ran a story about it titled, “Michigan police officer stabbed in the neck at Flint city airport.” The story never mentioned the words “Allahu akbar,” even though plenty of earlier stories had reported it. For some reason, the reporter thought that detail wasn’t important.

Perhaps it is a surprise The Guardian covered the knife attack at all. The further left a publication is, the less it covers terrorism or crime of any kind. For example, Jacobin and The Baffler never ran a single story about the terrorist bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. And if an outlet isn’t reporting on a terrorist attack on that scale, you can be sure it is not reporting on black-on-white crime, the MS-13 gang, or violence against Trump supporters.

Media silence about rape is particularly shocking. The country is saturated with feminist media: Cosmopolitan, Bitch Media, Feministing, Jezebel, and Ms. to name some examples. Furthermore, every substantial leftist outlet has a “feminist beat,” and virtually every one of their female employees would call herself a feminist. However, I cannot find a single feminist or even leftist outlet that wrote about the case of Luis Baez.

Luis Baez went to trial in late April for raping a woman while driving for Uber under a fake name. He was in the country illegally, had been deported previously, and had two other rape charges in the past. The prosecution recommended bail be set to at least $100,000, and that he wear a GPS tracking device if he managed to post bail. The judge set bail at $2,500, with no GPS tracker. Mr. Baez scraped the money together, and has since disappeared. The judge was a woman.

This story was reported by local sources, tabloids, and conservative media. Nowhere can I find a story about this on anything remotely left-wing. Those outlets are too busy complaining about President Trump’s chauvinism, “rape culture,” and the lack of female authors in college curricula.

I am genuinely curious how a woman could decide to let a rapist go. What could this judge have been thinking? If there was ever a case of what feminist theorists call “internalized misogyny,” surely this is it. If ever there was an example of “rape culture” in our judiciary, it is when a judge lets a thrice-charged rapist get away. But no feminist would write about this because reporting on the crimes committed by illegals is racist.

Although the Left is certainly more guilty of this kind of biased reporting than the right, there is culpability all around. Ann Coulter’s most recent column contained a link to the American Renaissance map of hate crimes committed against Trump supporters. However, two websites that syndicate Miss Coulter’s column, Breitbart and Townhall, felt the need to delete the passage that linked to us. Although those outlets defend Trump supporters, if the documentation of attacks on supporters comes from “racists” like us, they eliminate the documentation.

This is what we call “biased media.”

The Left Has One More Argument: Kill Them!

After a Bernie Sanders supporter tried to commit mass murder last week — the second homicidal Bernie supporter so far this year — the media blamed President Trump for lowering the bar on heated political rhetoric by calling his campaign opponents cruel names like “Crooked Hillary” and “Lyin’ Ted.”

As soon as any conservative responds to Trump’s belittling names for his rivals by erupting in a murderous rage, that will be a fantastically good point. But until then, it’s idiotic. Unlike liberals, conservatives aren’t easily incited to violence by words.

What we’re seeing is the following: Prominent liberals repeatedly tell us, with deadly seriousness, that Trump and his supporters are: “Hitler,” “fascists,” “bigots,” “haters,” “racists,” “terrorists,” “criminals” and “white supremacists,” which is then followed by liberals physically attacking conservatives.

To talk about “both sides” being guilty of provocative rhetoric is like talking about “both genders” being guilty of rape.

Nearly every op-ed writer at The New York Times has compared Trump to Hitler. (The conservative on the op-ed page merely called him a “proto-fascist.”) If Trump is Hitler and his supporters Nazis, then the rational course of action for any civilized person is to kill them.

That’s not just a theory, it’s the result.

A few months ago, 38-year-old Justin Barkley shot and killed a UPS driver in a Walmart parking lot in Ithaca, New York, then ran over his body, because he thought he was killing Donald Trump. During his arraignment, Barkley told the judge: “I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally and very proudly.”

In the past year, there have been at least a hundred physical attacks on Trump supporters or presumed Trump supporters. The mainstream media have ignored them all. (You can click the Anti-Trump Hate Map to see some of them here.)

Schoolchildren across the country are being hospitalized from beatings for the crime of liking Trump. In Pasco, Oregon, a 29-year-old Trump supporter was stabbed in the throat by a Hispanic man, Alvaro Campos-Hernandez, after a political argument.

Last month, the anti-jihad scholar Robert Spencer was poisoned in Iceland by a Social Justice Warrior pretending to be a fan, sending Spencer to the hospital.

It’s become so normal for leftist thugs to assault anyone who likes Trump that, in Meriden, Connecticut, Wilson Echevarria and Anthony Hobdy leapt out of their car and started punching and hitting a man holding a Trump sign, rolling him into traffic right in front of a policeman.

If any one of these bloody attacks had been committed by a Trump supporter against a Muslim, a gay, a Mexican, a woman or a Democrat, the media would have had to drop its Russia conspiracy theory to give us 24-7 coverage of the epidemic of right-wing violence.

The liberal response to this ceaseless mayhem toward conservatives is to produce a single nut, who fired a gun in the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., last December (hurting no one) to “rescue children,” after reading on obscure right-wing blogs that the restaurant hid a Democratic pedophilia ring. (They’ve also hyped a long list of “hate crimes” that were utter hoaxes.)

Congratulations, liberals! You got one. And some tiny number of girls raped men last year. QED: Both sexes have a rape problem.

Liberal aggression has ratcheted up dramatically since the dawn of Trump, as has the dehumanizing rhetoric, but epic violence from the left is nothing new.

We don’t have to go back more than century to note that every presidential assassin and attempted presidential assassin who had a political motive was a leftist, a socialist, a communist or a member of a hippie commune. (Charles J. Guiteau, Leon Czolgosz, Giuseppe Zangara, Lee Harvey Oswald, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore.)

Instead, we’ll start in the 1990s. Al Sharpton’s speeches inspired people to murder two people in Crown Heights in 1991 and seven people at Freddie’s Fashion Mart in 1995. As scary as David Duke and Richard Spencer are, I’ve never heard of anyone committing murder after listening to one of their speeches.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, among other acts of violence, Obama supporters Maced elderly volunteers in a McCain campaign office in Galax, Virginia. They threw Molotov cocktails at, stomped and shredded McCain signs on a half-dozen families’ front yards around Portland. Another Obama supporter broke the McCain sign of a small middle-aged woman in midtown Manhattan, then hit her in the face with the stick.

(All this for John McCain!)

At the Republicans’ convention that year, hundreds of liberals were arrested for smashing police cars, slashing tires and breaking store windows. Police seized Molotov cocktails, napalm bombs and assorted firearms from the protesters. Elderly convention-goers were Maced and sent to the hospital after protesters threw bricks through the windows of convention buses. On the first day alone, the cops made 284 arrests, 130 for felonies.

That same year, California voters approved Proposition 8, banning gay marriage. In response, left-wing opponents of the measure ferociously attacked Mormon and Catholic churches, smashing glass doors, spray-painting the churches and burning holy books on their front steps. The mayor of Fresno and his pastor received death threats serious enough to require around-the-clock police protection.

(Although the measure would not have passed without the support of black voters, liberals held black people blameless for their opposition to gay marriage. Mormons and Catholics were a much funner target.)

In 2009, one conservative had his finger bitten off at a Tea Party rally in Thousand Oaks, California, by a man at a MoveOn.org counter-protest. At a St. Louis Tea Party rally, an African-American selling anti-Obama bumper stickers was beaten up by two Service Employees International Union thugs, resulting in charges.

For the past few years, the media have enthusiastically promoted Black Lives Matter, hoping to galvanize the black vote. The mother of Michael Brown was even invited to appear on stage at the Democrats’ convention. But, as the British discovered with their Indian auxiliaries during the Revolutionary War, having ginned them up, they couldn’t calm them down.

As a result of the media’s tall tales about homicidal, racist cops, Black Lives Matter enthusiasts staged sneak attacks, executing two policemen in Brooklyn, five in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge.

Liberals know damn well that their audience includes a not-insignificant portion of foaming-at-the-mouth lunatics, prepared, at the slightest provocation, to smash windows, burn down neighborhoods, physically attack and even murder conservatives. But instead of toning down the rhetoric, the respectable left keeps throwing matches on the bone-dry tinder, and then indignantly asks, “Are you saying conservatives don’t do it, too?”

No, actually. We don’t.