In the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, there was the usual slew of hot takes as partisans across the spectrum engaged in the all-too-familiar ritual of trying to wring cheap political points out of a tragedy. On the left, it was typically some variant of how Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric set the stage for all this, and how all conservatives need to take their share of the blame for an ascendant white supremacy movement. The right, meanwhile, retreated to pointing fingers at Antifa for ratcheting up the political violence, and blaming the news media for turning the other way and aggravating an already tense situation.
Lost in most of analysis, however, was the moral argument against any kind of violence, whatever justification its perpetrators use to elevate their cause. Fortunately, a few saner voices did raise themselves with words meant to heal after far too much hurt. One of them was Senator Ted Cruz, who took to the pages of the Daily Signal to deliver a simple yet direct message that goes straight down to the heart of the matter:
It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great nation with bloodshed.
The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.
The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate.
These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this.
Indeed, America is better than this. We know that because we have seen her in times of great darkness and strife before, when she struggled to reconcile the lofty ideals of her founding with the injustice suffered by some of her own citizens. We know that because America looked deep inside herself and found the strength and the courage to rise above, and make good on her ongoing promise to try and forge a more perfect union. And we know that because, more than anything else, the vast majority of Americans truly believe in the sacred creed that all people, no matter where they come from or what they look like, are in fact created equal.
That’s what makes America exceptional–and nobody will break that spirit, least of all the kind of thugs who would use brute force to achieve their bigoted ends.
Senator Cruz did the country a favor in reminding us of that.