I can’t put a Trump sign in my yard. Neither can I put a bumper sticker on my car. Or wear a MAGA hat in public. I rarely display my political affiliations for public view, but that’s always been a personal decision. I was never overtly political, preferring to keep my feelings to myself. However, in America, in the past, we could always agree to disagree, recognize political differences and still be friends….or at least be civil.

Things have changed over the last 20 years, where displaying one’s political affiliation can lead to verbal or physical abuse. And let’s be honest; the vast majority of the perpetrators come from the political left.

While acting out in public has been a leftist hallmark for decades, I trace the genesis of this current violence to the 2000 election; the hanging chads and the ultimate Supreme Court ruling which decided in favor of George W. Bush. Moreover, Bush won the electoral, though not the popular vote, so the Democrats cast the specter of illegitimacy on the Bush presidency, at least in his first term. In the 2004 election the heightened vitriol from the left and the attempts by the media to destroy Bush reached levels I had never seen. Recall the Dan Rather letter he produced which purportedly excused George W. Bush from National Guard service. It was claimed to have been written in the early 1970s on a typewriter, though upon closer examination it was evident the text exhibited scalable fonts; an option unavailable at the time. When called out on the letter’s veracity, Rather doubled down saying, “I’m convinced the story is true.” The leftist media attacks in 2004 were so blatant and unrestrained, it emboldened Democrats to inflict damage to cars displaying Bush bumper stickers. This was a common occurrence and I honestly don’t recall ever hearing about similar incidents on Kerry supporters.

The eight years of Obama saw unprecedented attempts to push the leftist agenda with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), gay marriage, and environmental overreach. The leftist elite and their media allies, in full smug self-righteousness, were determined to ‘fundamentally transform’ the United States into their vision of the socialist utopia. The ACA was developed in secret, without a single Republican vote; remember Nancy Pelosi famously saying, “We need to pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill.” Truly astonishing contempt for transparency and the legislative process for a such consequential impact on the nation’s economy.

Anyone who opposed Obama, the ACA or LBGTQ rights was racist, morally deficient and therefore, worthy of contempt, derision and ultimately needed to be destroyed. The Romney sign my wife put in the yard was pulled up and stomped in broad daylight. My daughter witnessed this happen and squawked out the window, but the offender, a girl of about 12 or 13, just smiled and walked away. She knew nothing was going to happen; we were Republicans and it’s what we deserved.

Fast forward to 2016 and the left has become untethered to any semblance of rational behavior, or the type of sober back and forth needed to air legitimate differences. Trump and his supporters were inherently evil, amoral and had to be destroyed professionally, financially and emotionally or spiritually. His victory that year, again without the popular vote, created a Democratic firestorm of hate that defies rational explanation. The last four years have seen unprecented attempts by the left to eject a duly elected President, all of which have failed, thereby raising their anger and frustration. Naturally, this anger and frustration have been taken out on the President’s supporters, in the form of rioting, looting, arson and homicide. Joe Biden and the Democrats have been shamefully mum on this summer’s violence, fearful of alienating their radical supporters.

Don’t believe the polls; they were wrong in 2016 and are being manipulated again to show a Biden victory. Any objective analysis points to another Trump win next month, at which point the left will howl in anguish and attempt even greater levels of violence and turmoil to ‘burn the system down.’ What they want to put in its place, they don’t say. The result is an environment of such heightened tension and anxiety, that simply wearing a hat or displaying a bumper sticker will put your physical well-being in jeopardy. A lawn sign could equally put your family in danger. The recourse of self-defense, as enshrined in the Constitution, often labels you as the aggressor and a fascist criminal. Right now, we crave law and order, a sense of normalcy where the police are the good guys, where our heritage is something to be proud of and enshrined in statues, murals and paintings. Where common sense and basic principles of a stable civil society and our cherished Western foundations prevail.

How long this poisoned atmosphere will continue is anybody’s guess, but the longer these (mostly leftist) perpetrators are allowed to continue without suffering any consequences indicates it won’t change any time soon.