Our descent into vitriol began long before Trump -- and Democrats are culpable too

During the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton compared Republicans to Nazis, saying in regard to illegal immigrants they wanted to “round them up” and put them in “boxcars.” She also compared the GOP to terrorists, declaring, “Now, extreme views on women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans.” And she listed Republicans alongside the Iranians among the “enemies” she was most proud of making.

When Trump took office, Democrats abandoned their role as the “opposition” and declared themselves “the resistance.” Look up “resistance” in the Oxford dictionary and you’ll see the definition “the use of force or violence to oppose someone or something.” William E. Scheuerman, professor of political science at Indiana University, notes the word resistance “first surfaces in debates about tyrannicide, the violent removal from power of misbehaving kings who usurp authority not properly belonging to them.” Scalise would have been forgiven for pointing out that his would-be assassin took Democrats’ calls to “resistance” literally.

More recently, some Democrats were peddling unfounded accusations that Brett M. Kavanaugh participated in gang rapes in an effort to destroy the Supreme Court nominee. Clinton defended smash-mouth tactics, declaring that “you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.”