When my brother-in-law, Donald Trump, Jr., was on the campaign trail for his dad last week, he met with yet another family of supporters who had been violently attacked for their political beliefs.
In Windham, New Hampshire, a 34 year-old man allegedly shouted obscenities and slapped a 15 year-old for wearing a MAGA hat, then broke the jaw of another Trump supporter who came to the boy’s defense.
As an American, as a proud member of the Trump family, and as a mother, this incident makes me sick. Like the Campbells, my whole family is vocal in our support of my father-in-law’s re-election. Families like theirs shouldn’t have to fear for the safety of their children, and I’m tired of the blase attitude toward political violence among some on the left.
We saw another example of this disgusting trend in Hobart, Indiana, where a couple drove two teenage boys off the road because they were riding bikes adorned with Trump flags.
This is America. We pick our leaders through democratic politics—ballot boxes, campaign stops, and good old-fashioned retail electioneering. It’s a system that doesn’t work without thousands of volunteers and ordinary supporters getting out in public and making the case for their preferred candidates. More to the point, it’s a system that can’t function if one side feels morally justified in resorting to violence.
Time and again since the President first looked as though he might win in 2016, his supporters—and even people merely perceived as being his supporters—have been accosted , egged , beaten , and worse . As the 2020 campaign heats up, the trend is getting worse. The attack in New Hampshire was preceded only days earlier by one in Jacksonville, Florida that threatened to be much more serious. A man drove a van into a tent where Trump Campaign volunteers were registering voters, narrowly missing the people inside.
Now we’ve gotten to the point where even children are being assaulted for wearing MAGA hats in public—and the stories are still relegated to “blink-and-you’ll-miss-them” status by the media. Instead, the American people have been treated to a steady stream of demonstrably false narratives about people wearing MAGA hats — some of them distortions and others outright fabrications .
These narratives in turn feed the self-righteous rage of the anti-Trump fanatics who engage in this type of violence. No doubt people such as the man who slapped a teenager and then started a fist fight feel as though they’re striking a great blow for “justice” when they attack people for publicly supporting President Trump. They’ve bought into the warped line of reasoning that anti-Trump activists have pushed for years now: that “normalizing” Trump supporters is itself somehow “violence.”
Everything must be done to counter that mentality. We can never allow ourselves to view fellow Americans—least of all 15 year-olds—as a faceless evil to be violently attacked because of their political views. And we must never tolerate that behavior in others just because they happen to share a political orientation.
After the Jacksonville attack, the local Democratic organization swiftly issued a statement affirming that “no one’s life should be placed in danger for exercising their First Amendment rights.” That’s a model that I would like to see followed by members of the media, politicians, political activists, and the candidates running against President Trump.
Teenagers should never fear for their safety when they join their families to support—or oppose—the President. We must all come together to condemn political violence, most of all the national news media, and refuse to promote the dehumanizing rhetoric of fanatics. For the sake of our children, let’s behave like civilized, law-abiding adults.
Lara Trump is a Senior Advisor to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and President Trump’s daughter-in-law.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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