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'Trump Is Applying a Match to Kindling': Conservative Writer Explains Why There's No Equivalence Between Democrats' and Republicans' 'Incivility'

October 28, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Sen. Marco Rubio tried to blame both sides. Max Boot isn't having it.

Critics of President Donald Trump and the GOP's inflammatory rhetoric and willingness to pander to the most fringe and vile elements of their base in the wake high-profile partisan and extremist violence are facing a familiar reply: Both sides do bad things, so there's no use in blaming the right wing any more than we blame the left.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for instance, suggested that it was just as bad to think the mail bomber who targeted Democrats and CNN was a “false flag” operation as it is to accuse Trump of having any culpability in the attack, given the suspect's clear fondness for the president's most vicious attacks and hatred of his critics.

But as conservative and ex-Republican Max Boot argued in a new Washington Post column, this is a completely vacuous claim.

It should “be clear to all that holding the president of the United States to account for his hateful rhetoric is not the same thing as subscribing to lunatic 'false flag' conspiracy theories that ricochet around the right-wing world,” wrote Boot. “In their eagerness to protect their leader, Republicans are guilty of the very sin they have spent years decrying — false moral equivalence.”

He added: “Extremism has been present in America for a long time. But Trump is applying a match to the kindling.”

Boot argued that he does not appreciate forms of what he sees as “incivility” on left-leaning activists — protests of administration officials at restaurants, for example, or comparing Trump to Hitler.

And yet in his view, none of that is comparable to Trump's misdeeds:

Trump calls Democrats “evil” and “crazy.” He accuses them of being “treasonous” and “un-American.” He claims they are in league with MS-13 gang members. He says they are trying to open our borders to criminals and to turn America into Venezuela — a bankrupt socialist dictatorship. He denounces the media as “the enemy of the people.” He applauds a congressman who assaulted a reporter and calls for his political opponent to be locked up. He singles out minorities such …read more


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