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Political Violence: A Human Problem that Transcends Left and Right


Like most Americans, I found myself frequently watching the news for more information about the shooting involving Congresswoman Giffords. As I searched various media outlets, I wasn’t surprised to see that the Huffington Post was the first I came across which had made the willful choice to sink so low as to exploit this tragic event for political gain. With this post, HuffPo contributor and USC Professor Marty Kaplan, somehow managed to attribute the blame for the Congresswoman’s shooting on Sarah Palin. Using similar logic as those who would attribute the warming of our planet on the gaseous emissions of cows, Mr. Kaplan and the HuffPo’s editors seemingly furthered their track record of turning a blind eye to the fact that Leftists attempt to commit acts of violence in support of a political agenda just as frequently as all other extremists.

From my vantage point, having spent several years working undercover with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on issues related to both domestic and international terrorism, I know that political violence is a human problem. It is an issue which transcends Left or Right, race, or any other confine or label we as Americans might try to place upon the age old problem. However, I also have another vantage point regarding political violence. This is, to put it simply, the personal experience of being burned by the discrepancy in how the predominantly Left oriented Mainstream Media portrays the political violence of the Left in comparison with that of the Right.

This author had the honor of working undercover with the FBI during the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Several Left-of-Center activists made firebombs which they had intended to use on law-enforcement personnel and on Republican delegates. The FBI thwarted the plans. However, rather than express concern over the intended violence, the New York Times and the Huffington Post (among many others) immediately set out to control the narrative and to “minimize” any political damage from such Leftist extremism. The MSM decided to focus on the so called peace activists feeling betrayed and threatened by the government for having infiltrated their efforts, rather than the fact that such efforts spawned such violence. Never once did the MSM use the term “Leftwing Extremist” or even acknowledge that such violence was wrong. Never once did they mention that the FBI had prevented violence. They even went as far as promoting the erroneous claim that the government was to blame for the violence. Once the Leftist would-be bombers admitted their guilt, the MSM dropped the story and never denounced the intended violence.

Hopefully, Professor Kaplan, along with his comrades at the Huffington Post and the New York Times, will begin to display more balance and honesty in how they present the matter of extremism and political violence, rather than continuing to misrepresent the issues and spin them for political gain. And hopefully, our various law-enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, which are full of heroic men and women who daily prove themselves to be highly competent in thwarting such dastardly acts of disdain for the rights and lives of others, will be remembered by any American who hears someone making threats of death towards other Americans.

Unfortunately, in the case of this shooting, either no one heard the shooter’s threats or someone heard and didn’t have the courage to tell.

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