'Can we please get a grip?': Robert Reich calls for unity after baseball practice shooting
Robert Reich (Screen cap)

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich called for unity in the aftermath of the shooting on Wednesday morning at a Republican baseball practice. He decried those who are rushing to politicize the shooting like Donald Trump Jr. who blamed "liberal hate speech" for the shooting, which injured five, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

"Whatever the motive of the shooter at a congressional baseball practice, some Republicans say that in the era of President Donald Trump, they’re being threatened like never before," Reich wrote. "They point to a virulent backlash against Trump that they say goes beyond the bounds of moderate political dissent and encourages violence."

Democrats, said Reich -- who served under Pres. Bill Clinton -- have been dealing with threats of violence from the right for decades.

"Can we please get a grip? Democrats have experienced the same level of hatred as Republicans. And there are too many invitations to violence on all sides," he wrote.

Reich continued, "Last year, Trump said of a protester at one of his campaign rallies: 'I’d like to punch him in the face,' adding 'In the old days, protesters would be carried out on stretchers.' A few weeks ago, on the eve of his election to the House of Representatives, Montana Republican Greg Gianforte beat up Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper."

"Stop it! We don’t settle anything with violence. Our democracy depends on discussion, debate, compromise, respect," he said. "People can be angry with each other but we are all Americans. We all care about this country. We need each other."

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