A 27-year-old Florida man has been arrested after driving a van into the tent where two supporters of President Donald Trump were registering voters, the Miami Herald has reported.
Thankfully no one was injured in the politically motivated attack. Gregory Timms was arrested shortly after the incident and has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a victim over the age of 65, one count of criminal mischief and one count of driving with a suspended license.
The Duval County GOP said that “six volunteers ‘narrowly avoided’ being hit before the van driver raced off after firing ‘an obscene gesture toward the crowd.’”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted in response, “Thanking God that no one was injured in today’s politically motivated attack against GOP volunteers today.”
In subsequent tweets, Senator Rubio lamented the amount of anger present in politics today. “The current level of anger and divisions in our politics is way too high. Both sides have voices portraying fellow Americans as a dangerous enemy. We are playing with fire. Over the top politics works well in this era. It generates fundraising, voter intensity and is ratings and social media gold. But it also comes at a high price to the nation at large. It paralyzes the ability to govern and creates deep resentments that will not be easy to heal,” he tweeted.
The national media has either largely remained silent about the attack or attempted to spin it to make it look negative for the Republican party.
For example. the left-leaning news outlet Politico ran an article about the attack with the headline, “Republicans vow ‘revenge’ at ballot box after volunteers nearly hit by van.”
The Duval County GOP has taken notice of the media’s duplicity.
“It is high time that the national media begin to act responsibly in this case and call this deranged criminal’s attack what has been clear: an obvious assault motivated by blind rage toward President Trump,” said Chairman Dean Black of the Duval County GOP. “With the release of a revised police report, the national media now has no place to hide. They must now cover this story honestly or abandon all pretenses of integrity.
The police report referenced in the statement makes abundantly clear that the attack was motivated by Timms’ hatred towards President Trump.
On both sides of the party aisle, politicians and ordinary citizens can be guilty of using over-the-top rhetoric and unnecessarily divisive language when discussing politics, especially on social media forums.
In President George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796, he presciently warned about the divisive effect of political parties. “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism,” Washington wrote. “The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”
American politicians and the public in general would do well to remember that Americans, despite our political differences and increased party polarization, all root for the same team. We are all united under one flag, and together we sing one national anthem.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary
Photo from WJXT-TV screenshot, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office