Over the weekend, the presidential contest descended into a terrorist act. In Hillsborough, North Carolina, someone firebombed the Republican Party headquarters, and a swastika was found scrolled on an adjacent store. So far there’s no clue who’s responsible. The most straightforward explanation is someone from the violent left, but it could conceivably be a false-flag attack by Trumpists, a foreign attempt to stoke mutual hostility in the US election, or someone just acting out of mental illness. Trump has claimed it’s “animals representing Hillary Clinton,” but she had nothing to gain and got some serious bad publicity from it.
There was a ray of light in all this, though.
A group of Democrats, headed by a David Weinberger in Brookline, Mass., started a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to help rebuild the headquarters. The campaign explained:
On October 16, a North Carolina headquarters of the Republican Party was firebombed, and an abhorrent threat was painted on its outside wall
As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible.
Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences. We talk, we argue, sometimes we march, and most of all we vote. We do not resort to violence by individuals or by mobs.
The effort topped its $10,000 goal, raising $13,000 in twelve hours. The people starting the campaign are Democrats, but it was open to donations by anyone regardless of party affiliation. Google News didn’t find it worthy of mention. The comment section is mostly favorable, but has some ugly remarks from both Democrats and Republicans.
Given his name and location, Weinberger is most likely Jewish, so he has good reason to be outraged by people who firebomb and draw swastikas to intimidate people.
This is the right way to respond to violence: Speak out against it and rebuild. And catch the person or people responsible, which hopefully will happen soon.