An Attack And An Expose’

I hesitated to comment about this situation but when something happens in your “backyard” I guess you have a moral obligation to weigh in considering you are more familiar with the turf than most. Sunday the news broke that the Republican Headquarters in Orange County North Carolina was firebombed and graffiti was found in close proximity. Let’s take a look what we know of the event and some reactions to it.

I first became aware of the incident (which apparently took place Saturday night) sometime Sunday when I received an e-mail from Orange County Democratic Chairman Matt Hughes. The e-mail deplored the attack and included an offer of help to the Orange County GOP. Embedded in it was a statement from North Carolina State Democratic Chair Patsy Keever expressing similar sentiments and a similar offer of assistance. (In full disclosure: Although we are not close, I have known both Matt and Patsy for several years.)

Orange County is part of the same metropolitan Raleigh-Durham area (commonly referred to as The Triangle) that I live in. Orange County is a Democratic stronghold in purple North Carolina. It is home to Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina’s flagship campus. Even at this late date I am not prepared to declare who will win North Carolina but I guarantee that the Democrats carry Orange County by a wide margin.

Now let’s look at how the presidential candidates reacted. Hillary Clinton took to Twitter at 5:13pm Sunday and posted the following: “This attack on the Orange County HQ @NCGOP office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe.” Later at 6:29pm Donald Trump tweeted: “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning @NCGOP.” Let’s examine both tweets.

Clinton condemned the act and expressed thanks that nobody was injured or killed. While politically correct and conservative, nobody can deny that it was the response of a world leader. Trump immediately jumped to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were behind the attack. Then he followed it up with the false assertion that he is winning. No reputable poll that I am aware of has Trump winning either nationally or in North Carolina. In fact I can’t remember a legitimate poll showing either of those results anytime during this contest.

I personally have several conflicting thoughts about who conducted the attack and their motivation. The reality is that we will have to let the authorities conduct their investigation and hope they can solve this crime. There is no doubt it is a crime and regardless of who or why I hope the perpetrator(s) are punished to the fullest extent of the law. We solve our political differences at the ballot box in America not through acts of violence, subterfuge or intimidation.

I’m just a guy who writes political op-ed yet I have the good sense not to put unsubstantiated ideas out there as conclusions. Donald Trump wants to be the leader of the free world with the most potent nuclear arsenal in history at his disposal. Can we really allow a man who spouts off with total disregard for facts (or in this case lack thereof) to be in that position?

I understand the frustration of many of his supporters. Their frustration is similar to that of many Bernie Sanders supporters. Sanders is cerebral; Trump is impulsive – that is a huge and dangerous difference! I understand the attraction of a candidate who tells it like it is. However that is not Donald Trump. Trump tells it like he thinks it is with total distain for facts and evidence. That is not honest; it is lunacy!

Note: This article is being written on Monday afternoon utilizing the best available credible information.

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