Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was assaulted at his home in Bowling Green on Friday afternoon.
Rene Albert Boucher, a 59-year-old anesthesiologist, and Paul’s neighbor was arrested on one charge of fourth-degree assault. Politico reports that Boucher’s attack caused Paul to have difficulty breathing due to a “possible rib injury.” The senator was also “bleeding from cuts around his mouth and is seeking medical attention.
Politico managed to obtain a warrant detailing the incident. Boucher “admits to going onto Paul’s property and tackling him.” There is no information on what happened before the attack.
According to Kelsey Cooper, Paul’s communications director, “Senator Paul was blindsided and the victim of an assault.” He added, “The assailant was arrested, and it is now a matter for the police. Senator Paul is fine.”
The Daily Caller reports that the Kentucky State Board of Election voting records indicate that Boucher is registered as a Democrat. He was taken to Warren County Detention Center, and his bond is listed at $5,000.
According to The Daily Caller, what appears to be Boucher’s Facebook account “contains numerous anti-Donald Trump postings.”
While there are no postings on the account about Senator Paul, several others are critical of the president and Republicans. He also shared a post from Occupy Democrats with a quote by Noam Chomsky that criticizes the GOP. According to Heavy, Boucher also posted about Montana Representative Greg Gianforte’s “body slamming incident.”
While the facts are not yet known in this case, it is possible that this was a politically-motivated attack given the information on Boucher. If true, it is the second violent attack against a Republican politician this year. In July, James Hodgkinson attempted to murder Republican lawmakers at a baseball field in Washington, D.C. with a rifle. He was killed at the scene by the police.
The Climate of Violence
The political climate in the United States is growing more hostile. Many on the left have resorted to violence to promote their agenda. At pro-Trump rallies, they have physically assaulted conservatives for merely expressing their views.
While the violence is coming primarily from the left, the right has not been entirely innocent either. In Charlottesville, Virginia, a white supremacist killed a woman when he drove his car into a crowd at a protest against the removal of a Confederate statue.
Unfortunately, this incident is just one of many that have occurred in the United States over the past year. As Americans become increasingly polarized, civil debate is becoming less common. Instead of viewing one another as fellow American with whom we disagree, we are resorting to demonizing the other side. The more people dehumanize each other, the easier it is to justify violence. One only has to look at Antifa’s physical assaults against conservatives to see that our political discourse is devolving into shouting matches and violence.
Shutting Down Support
The only way we can prevent this de-evolution is for both sides to marginalize those who adopt violent tactics. We must repudiate those who use extreme language to describe their political opponents. Again, this type of behavior exists on the right, but it is far more prevalent on the left.
Hard leftist groups routinely eschew civil debate; instead, they label their political opponents as bigoted fascists who seek to oppress American citizens who don’t look like them. They use these labels to justify their physical assaults against conservatives.
We don’t yet know the details surrounding Boucher’s motives, but this incident is another example of how far our political discourse has fallen.