Political violence has returned to America, after a very lengthy and learned hiatus, some 150 years after we last went to war with one another.
Our ideological differences have been fomenting for a while, and then turbocharged by the media and their obsession with ratings and revenue. For every story that angers us, their paychecks engorge, and this is certainly no way to keep the peace.
And so now we live in a nation where political candidates are at risk of being attacked during campaign stops.
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, was attacked by a man who apparently tried to stab him at an upstate event Thursday but the congressman managed to escape uninjured, his campaign said.
Zeldin was giving a speech when a man climbed onstage and appeared to begin wrestling with the congressman, said Katie Vincentz, a spokesperson for his campaign. A video of the event in Perinton posted on Twitter showed the man appearing to grab Zeldin’s arm before the two fall to the ground as other people try to intervene.
Zeldin’s campaign said the attacker was taken into custody and the congressman continued his speech. He is challenging incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul this November.
Twitter users were quick to point out that the man was armed with something resembling a personal defense keychain.
Lee Zeldin attacker taken down 👍🇺🇸 Metal Cat Claw weapon pic.twitter.com/z5KuDcqyBq
— Weldon (@RedHotandRollin) July 22, 2022
The news underscores a vast radicalization of the American electorate, and a terrifying new era of patriotism.