Mike Huckabee, May 31, 2017

Liberal reporters are understandably aghast that Republican Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte got elected in Montana by a comfortable margin after allegedly body-slamming aggressive reporter Ben Jacobs of the Guardian. True, most of the votes were already in by then, but there were few indications that many Gianforte supporters would have changed their votes if they could have.

To be clear, nobody should condone violence against reporters, or any other person who isn’t instigating violence. But the attempt to blame all the recent examples of political conflict degenerating into violence on Republicans, or more specifically President Trump for fomenting an “atmosphere of violence,” is harder to swallow than Gianforte’s fist. Tucker Carlson of Fox News asked a guest who made that claim to name even one example of conservative college students threatening violence to silence a liberal speaker. The guest sputtered more than a Model T but gave no actual answer. When Jill Stein tried to blame the stabbing of three people in Portland on “Trump’s America,” it was quickly pointed out to her that the alleged killer was a Bernie Sanders supporter who wanted Bernie to choose Stein as a running mate.

And now comes this: amateur sleuths on the Internet used social media to track down a Berkeley protester who was caught on video bashing people in the head at a pro-Trump rally with a bike lock. Police have charged the alleged culprit with assault with a deadly weapon and assault causing great bodily injury. They’ve identified at least three possible victims so far. So, was he a violent Republican, pumped up by Trump? Nope. He’s such a leftwing “social justice warrior” cliché that he’s actually a former philosophy professor at Diablo Valley College whose bio claims he’s “currently exploring restorative justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective.” Well, to be more accurate, he’s currently exploring restorative justice from inside a jail cell in lieu of $200,000 bond.

Still, just because the left are acting like violent toddlers doesn’t justify the right acting violent in return, unless it’s in self-defense. We shouldn’t excuse attacks on reporters, no matter how biased, obnoxious and confrontational they are (even if they “invade someone’s safe space,” which liberals seem to think is justification for violent retaliation.) However, they shouldn’t expect us to listen to them lecture us not to be violent from atop their moral high horse when they say things like this:

“Left, right and center, straight news and opinion, journalists at CPAC have one thing in common, the overwhelming urge to punch Benji Backer.”

That apparent approval of physical assault against the then-16-year-old conservative activist was tweeted in 2014 by – surprise! – Ben Jacobs. It seems that the “atmosphere of violence” against political opponents began well before Trump even announced that he was running for President, and it came from the other side.