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Don’t blame Bernie, blame ourselves

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Shaun King, in his Daily News opinion piece about the June 14 shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and others by a Bernie Sanders supporter, said Bernie is not to blame,

“This notion that Bernie, of all people, had anything to do with Wednesday’s violence is foolhardy, unintelligent and poorly considered,” he wrote.

I agree — no one person can be held accountable for the act of a madman, except the madman.

He added, “In today’s gotcha culture, thousands of statements are now being tweeted blaming Bernie, blaming progressives, blaming the Democratic Party, blaming the ‘Julius Caesar’ play, blaming everything and everybody imaginable for this shooting. Just moments ago I saw some fool online saying ‘Shaun King has blood on his hands.’ All of that is absolutely prepostero­us.”

Again, agreed, that is preposterous.

However, if you read further in his column, you will note Mr. King does find someone to blame, and that is President Trump.

“I can tell you one prominent politician who has drastically degraded the quality of political discourse in this country and has repeatedly advocated violence from the microphone — Donald Trump,” King wrote. “Over and over again, throughout his campaign, Trump spoke of how he yearned for the day where protesters were carried out on stretchers and how he’d personally pay for the legal costs his supporters incurred for being violent with protesters. That wasn’t Hillary Clinton. That wasn’t Bernie Sanders. That was Donald Trump. To this very day, he has supporters in legal trouble for the violence he encouraged at his rallies.”

Really?

Let me get this straight, according to Mr. King he is not responsible, Bernie Sanders is not responsible, none of the progressives are to blame, and of course, neither Hillary Clinton, Kathy Griffin nor the “Julius Caesar” production are to blame — only Donald Trump. And by inference, all the rest of us deplorables.

Get over yourself Mr. King. We are all to blame. Every single one of us. Reporters, politicians, athletes, celebrities, the whole kit, caboodle, and basket of us all are to blame.

Our culture has devolved into a bunch of petty individuals with nothing better to do than sit behind a keyboard to bully, insult, inflame and create chaos. Yes that includes, athletes, politicians, and celebrities. All who find that it is okay to be disrespectful of our country — whether by not saying the Pledge of Allegiance, refusing to stand during the National Anthem, walking out of a congressional meeting, booing an elected official during a play, burning our flag, and yes, refusing to attend the inauguration of our president. None of the above is okay.

Back in 1993, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D–NY) coined the phrase “defining deviancy down.” He saw that American society was “re-defining deviancy” by accepting antisocial behaviors that in an earlier time would be universally condemned, and lowering the bar of decent behavior.

We most certainly have — we have defined ourselves right down into accepting violence, bullying, and hatred.

Not for Nuthin,™ but it is high-time we raise the bar for decency in America and stop the hatred, negativity, and divisiveness that is rampant in our country. Let peace, respectful discourse, respect for each other, and harmony be the accepted standards we embrace.

Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wednesday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail her at jdelbuono@cnglocal.com.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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