■ America has experienced political violence in the past, just like most other countries. But it shouldn’t be hard for anyone to say this: A free society should unconditionally reject
the scourge of politically motivated violence, by anyone, against anyone.
■ The actual acts of violence aren’t the only events we should vigorously reject if we want to keep a healthy society. There have been far too many events in which people have tried menacing public officials, even if they did not turn violent in fact. It happens to officials at all levels, and it’s been treated with a shrug by far too many people, mainly when they find that the intimidation is being used as a tool to promote an agenda with which they happen to agree.
■ It should tax no one’s conscience to say that there is no room for politically motivated violence by anyone, against anyone. Nor should it take any particular courage to say that even the hint of intimidation is wrong. The path to violence isn’t one on which anyone should start, because taking even the first step implies a willingness to continue on to taking the last.