In Afghanistan, millions of people voted for the first time in defiance of threats from the Taliban (which turned out to be relatively toothless). But it seems that people closer to home are not taking this to heart. Some Americans apparently believe that violence against your political enemies will yield dividends for your cause. Or else, they have stopped caring anymore.
In several cases, Republican campaign offices have been shot at. Others were broken into, with only the computers containing voter data being stolen. Reports of vandalized Bush signs or cars bearing Bush bumper-stickers are numerous. (Kerry signs have also been vandalized, but in far fewer numbers.) These cases, though unprecedented in my living memory, could perhaps be dismissed as the acts of individuals. More troubling are the cases of AFL-CIO thugs attacking Republican campaign offices, with the support and approval of the national organization.
Here we have a dangerous development. A high-profile national organization has carried out acts of violence against a political party espousing differing views. Moreover, the acts are praised and held up as exampes of "voter advocacy." In some of the more noxious corners of the Internet, such as Democratic Underground (I will not link to them out of principle), people post of plans for violent outbreaks should Bush win reelection. We are beginning to see the lawless wing of the Left emerge in all of its rancid glory.
It is telling that despite all of the caterwauling about "right-wing gun nuts," not a single Democratic campaign office has been shot at. Nor have Democratic offices been mobbed by violent crowds sent by the Christian Coalition/Karl Rove/the Evil Neocons. You know things are getting lopsided when even the New York Times attributes the most vileness to the Left.
I wonder at the Democratic Party's wisdom in letting slip the dogs of war in this fashion. I don't see how they expect to convince the American people that they are the best party to run the country this way. Besides, the extremists had better hope that they don't provoke a reaction from the Right. They are, after all, heavily outgunned...