The inexorable slide into incivility


The biggest question in my mind in the latter half of election week was not how Texas Republicans could lose long-time seats in the House to Democrats, or why Ted Cruz didn’t have a better showing against Beto O’Rourke.

It actually ended up being, “What have we become?”

Followed closely by, “What is my profession becoming?”

A group of people, seemingly alarmed by the work done by Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host, began a mob protest in front of the man’s home, while his wife and children were there.

The group, part of the AntiFa (Anti-Fascist) movement, kept chanting about their need to fight and claiming they knew where he slept at night. These “resistance” members, brave souls that they were, even banged on the door hard enough to crack it.

Carlson was not at home, as he was on his show. Carlson’s wife, however, was, and had to lock herself into a pantry and call the authorities.

There is no excuse, no reason, and no justification for that kind of behavior, but of course, that doesn’t stop the mainstream media from providing cover and downplaying the event — if it was covered at all.

What it was, pure and simple, was a crime, and it should be investigated and prosecuted as a crime. This kind of behavior is not in any way covered by the constitutional guarantee of free speech. This is harassment in the manner of Bundists or Bolsheviks, and needs to be ended.

From there, we move to the White House, and press briefing that involved an absolutely childish display by CNN contributor Jim Acosta.

I debated on whether to name him, since he seems to thrive on his brand of acting out in presidential press briefings. He was asking a question, and then wouldn’t relinquish the microphone until he got his shots at the president in.

When a White House intern came to take the microphone away, there was a minor struggle, and depending on who’s viewing the video, Acosta either pushed away the intern, or simply blocked her.

Who cares?

Adults do no behave in this manner. While it is a necessity for reporters to be tenacious in their pursuit of information, there is absolutely no reason for laying on of hands in any manner.

That type of behavior is inexcusable and has no place in a law-abiding society; further, the First Amendment protections of a free press does not provide cover for being a jackass. It means the government will not pass laws to infringe on the press.

For his actions, the White House pulled Acosta’s press credentials. Now the media is up in arms about the “illegality” of that, which is ridiculous. Nowhere in our country’s laws, or the Constitution, or even in societal norms is anyone granted carte blanche to be an ass.

How did we get here?

I’ve said it before, that this is the end result of an escalating use of acidic rhetoric combined with an overly permissive society — one where consequences have been all but erased. Our leaders, particularly on the Democrat side, refuse to put speak out against these actions, and even spur them on.

The final question that has been puzzling me: “Is this the kind of government we want?”

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.