As of today, as of now - I have started the Democratic Non-Violence Project beginning with a FaceBook Page of the same name, the goal of which is to circulate a pledge - as was suggested by Chris Hayes - to each and every member of Congress, to each and Governor, to each and every State Legislator to Formally RENOUNCE ALL FORMS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE.
It should be a no brainer.
It should go without saying.
But apparently, after two men were recently arrested making Death Threats against sitting members of Congress, after another attempted to sabotage the gas line at what he believed was another Congressman's Home, after a bullet landed through the window of the House GOP Whip (regardless of the sketchy details) it does needs to be said - and Loudly!
We all have a right to speak our minds. Under the law, and the Brandenburg Standard we are all protected up to the point where we suggest and call for imminent violence against our fellow Americans. That is the line we must not cross, yet so many in our political sphere have for too long felt comfortable tip-toeing up to that line and shouting FIRE as loud as they can for political and/or financial gain, then shrugging as people are trampled in the ensuing stampede.
It's time, before we are forced to bury more people - like those who were killed at the Knoxville Unitarian Church or the Guard at the Holocaust Museum - who have become the victims of political violence, to take a stand and to say NO MORE.
Here is a first draft of The Pledge!
Whereas our nation is founded upon the protection of free and open debate...
Whereas the primary goal of the democratic process is to emphasize the power of the ballot over the power of the bullet, the power of persuasion over the power of intimidation, the power of One Good Idea over the Power of One Cheap Insult, and the power of a hopeful future over the dread of fear and terror-filled past...
I ________ hereby pledge myself to the cause of Democratic Non-Violence, Renouncing and Denouncing ALL Forms of Political Violence, Terrorism and Intimidation, as well as the use of Racial, Religious and Personal Epithets as being Poisonous to the Well of Free Speech that our Nation is Founded upon and can not survive without. Our nation will live on together, debating and arguing loudly and peacefully to become a more perfect union day by day, year by year. I swear I will do all I can to make it so.
Those people who address the public and each other on political subjects have a Responsibility to make it clear and unequivocal where they stand on the subject of political violence. This is a simple black and white issue - regardless of Party, regardless of Creed - you either stand AGAINST VIOLENCE or by your silence - you stand WITH IT.
EVERYONE IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE SHOULD BE ASKED TO TAKE THE PLEDGE and show where they stand.
And By "Democratic" I mean the democratic process by which we govern this Republic, not the Democratic Party (which the Righties call the "Democrat" party anyway - so they shouldn't get confused - although they might.)
It's time we made all of our politicians, Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green Party, Socialists and yes - even The Tea Party. Especially the Tea Party - pledge themselves to the cause of Democratic Non-Violence, or else reveal their true allegiances.
Yes, that's right I WANT Tea Partiers to pledge themselves. Are you with Non-Violence or are you against it? Put yourself on the record, if you don't like being associated with people who would shoot at police or try to blow them up, fly their plane into the IRS Building, shoot up a Unitarian Church, Kill an OB/GYN, call Rep John Lewis "Nigger", Rep Barney Frank "Faggot", or Rep. Eric Cantor "Kike" - either in the past or the future - PLEDGE YOURSELF to this cause.
With the face book page up now, I soon hope to launch a full-fledged site/blog page on April 19th, the Anniversary of the Waco Tragedy and the Oklahoma City Bombing.
I'm going to need all of your help to spread the world, call members of Congress to take the pledge.
The Non-Violence Starts Now.