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A recent news cycle reported on the Republican National Committee’s declaration that the attack on the Capitol a little over a year ago on January 6, 2021 was just “legitimate political discourse.”

The RNC makes it sound like these thugs were at a tea party instead of killing and injuring police officers. The Grand Ole Party of law and order has become the party of mob rule and deadly seditious complicity.

The censorship is real, the threat to our democracy is real, the dead Capitol police officers are real, and yet the mainstream Republican establishment that make up the RNC turn a blind eye, attach those who break from the party line and dare to speak the truth. Just ask Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger about the price to pay for being a true patriot, for defending the constitution and our democracy. The RNC should be proclaiming Cheney and Kinzinger as American heroes, instead they censor them, ostracize them, pour millions into primary challenges to defeat them, all while embracing lies, criminals, and traitors.

Just take a moment to imagine if a rioting mob of Black Lives Matter protesters stormed the Capital Building on that Jan. 6. The cries from the right would be loud, harsh, and swift mass incarceration; quick arrest of leaders nationwide and total lockdown of communities. Somehow peaceful protesters of color are much more dangerous to our way of life than the hordes of right-wing thugs who kill, destroy property, attach lawmakers, and wish to bring down the legitimate government of the United States. Just when you thought you saw it all! And stay tuned there is much more to come of this so-called legitimate political discourse.

In this atmosphere of hated fueled by big money from right-wing billionaires such as Peter Thiel, we need to be ever more diligent in our pursuit to protect and defend our democracy. I find it a bit ironic that this far-right conservative was able to marry his life-long same-sex partner due to the long hard fight of so many left-wing activists. Peter and hubby Matt might think that their billions will protect them from the gay-bashing thugs they are helping to release in our society but history should tell them something different. Money and connections did not help the millions who have led away to concentration camps once the Nazi hordes took control and wiped away the democratic institutions of Germany and most of Europe.

These right-wing zealots seem all too eager in their determination to rip open Pandora’s Box, unleashing hatred, discourse, lies and many unknowns into every corner of American society. This reality makes the recent discovery of the stash of deadly weapons by our Wilton Manors Police Department so unnerving for our community. Such weapons in the hands of those filled with hatred and blinded by falsehoods should cause us all a few sleepless nights. But not to worry, the same right-wing zealots who want you to believe that the election was stolen and that deadly riots are just legitimate political discourse are the same ones that came up with the catchy phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” So just rest easy Islanders, those deadly weapons uncovered by our Police Department are no threat at all — just the collection of a law-abiding gun enthusiast, perhaps not.

Last week marked the four-year anniversary of the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. As many mourn the tragic loss of life on that February 14, 2018, let us be ever more vigilant to put an end to the hatemongering, stop glorifying lawless behavior of many on January 6, 2021, get deadly assault weapons out of our communities, and make those who bankroll such behavior pay the price of public outrage. We have much work to do as a community and a nation if we want to continue to honestly say that life is just better here.

Sal Torre has been a columnist for the Wilton Manors Gazette since its inception. Sal has served on the Wilton Drive Task Force, Budget Review Advisory Board, and Charter Review Board, among others. Sal is currently President of the Westside Association of Wilton Manors and Secretary for the Friend of the Wilton Manors Library. He is employed with Broward County in the Human Services Division.


Opinion: Let the Elections Begin