Democrats are refusing to play ball – literally. In this age where political parties are more polarized than ever, the Democratic National Committee is reportedly refusing to play its annual softball game with the Republican National Committee.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) July 31, 2018
The Daily Caller reports the RNC told it "that they were 'stunned' when Democrats abruptly pulled out of the good-natured game between leadership and staffers at opposing political organizations."
Traditionally, it's been a time where the two parties put aside their differences for a little fun and even hanging out afterward.
The conservative website also reports the Democrats told Republicans "all our players are out in the field this year. We won't be able to play."
Normally, trashing political opponents happens before elections and tapers off with acceptance of the elected officials and democratic civility. That appears to be a thing of the past.
Headlines like "Reporters, Celebs Call Trump Supporters 'Nazis, 'KKK,' Want Them 'Euthanized' After Tampa Rally" stir the pot. These comments come after President Donald Trump continues his mantra of calling the mainstream media "Fake News" at a Tampa, FL "Make America Great Again" rally. His Tampa area supporters also heckle and mock media members covering the event.
CNN's Jim Acosta responded with this tweet:
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I'm very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018
The response to it was quick on social media with more negativity that went over-the-top. The Daily Caller pointed out that one Twitter user said, "Calling them Deplorables is euphemizing them. Maybe better to euthanize?"
It also reported: "Other verified handles of celebrities and reporters were just as vulgar, likening the Trump supporters to Nazis, KKK members, white trash and Hitler while speculating the crowd will eventually commit murder. Others said the Trump supporters made them 'ashamed' of America."
The hostility and hatred are rampant on both sides of the political spectrum. US Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has called for Trump to be impeached and at an immigration rally in July even urged people to keep harassing members of Trump's administration in public after several administration officials were heckled at restaurants.
Things also turned violent recently in Portland, OR where two groups clashed.
During a "freedom rally" held by a group called Patriot Prayer," rioters from the militant Antifa Movement, an anti-fascist militant group, showed up to confront them, lighting firecrackers and smoke bombs.
The Patriot Prayer group claims to fight for freedom of speech and the courage to speak out. But Antifa, which accused Patriot Prayer of being racist and promoting hate speech, fought to shut the rally down.
"It is very important that anti-fascists keep up the pressure so that we can stop them once and for all," Antifa's Facebook page says.
Three young, black Republicans were recently refused service by an Uber Driver because they were carrying their MAGA hats and another young man in Texas had his MAGA hat snatched off his head and a soda thrown in his face just for showing his support for the president.
Matthew Handy was one of the young, black Republicans kicked out of the car by the Uber driver.
"It caught me by surprise, but it didn't. When you look at Sarah Sanders and with the teenager at Whataburger... but then you've got people like Maxine Waters calling for it," he said.
"The Democrats say, 'When they go low, we go high,' and I'm not seeing that at all, when things like Maxine Waters calling, basically, for violence for all supporters and all who work for the president. What she said is not ok. So, when something happens she's gonna say the blood's not on my hands but it is because she is the one who initiated it. This is not ok in America," he said.
Handy knows President Trump's actions and reputation for aggressive verbal and tweet attacks are part of the mix. He admits he may not always agree with how the president does it but believes he understands why.
"When you've got people coming at you from the left, right, front, back – you've got to have your defenses on. You have to be somewhat ahead of the game, ready to defend yourself at all costs. I think he's defending himself. Is it right how he does it? No. But he's got to do it," Handy explained to CBN News.
This Christian journalist did a quick online search for a "call for civility" from either side and only found more defiance, each blaming the other for the problem and saying one won't stop until the other does.
I remember my Momma first and later my teachers telling me, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
More importantly, Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-44, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Those are two difficult things for us to do whether we are believers in Christ or not. If we are brutally honest with ourselves, speaking negatively of others is something easy to do. It often to make us feel better about ourselves. When we compare ourselves to others we can stroke our pride and ego. When we compare ourselves to God's standard... or even our mother's... we fall short.
Since political debate will obviously continue, let's all join in a sincere call for civility. Whatever happened to respectful disagreement? What ever happened to getting over an election when your candidate didn't win and politely turning your energy toward what's best for the nation, then focusing on your causes and winning the next round?
Can we all, "We the people," choose to be good citizens? Can we remember our civic lessons by actively debating our positions, and supporting or opposing our political parties with respect? We must remember what we have in common – the greatest democratic republic in the world, where we have freedom of speech and the responsibility to exercise it. At the same time, remember the person is much more important than the politics. Fixing the problems we face, united as a nation, is more important than politics.
What makes America great is our civility, our democratic process and hopefully our ability to speak our minds in truth... and with love for our nation and fellow Americans.