This is a good piece that delves into the mass shooting attempt on Congressional Republicans by a Bernie Sanders supporter. It delves into the trauma experienced by the shooting victims, it contemplates what might have been the worst political assassination in American history, it spends time with the men who were shot that day and even addresses the FBI's cover-up of the shooter's motives.
But there is one jarring line in there near the beginning.
You may love them, or you may disagree with almost everything they stand for, but that morning, the roughly two dozen people on that field just tried to stay alive. Those nine minutes were a near miss of modern American history, between the dark aftermath of a deadly, mass political assassination and our own reality, in which most people don’t think very often about June 14, 2017, the difference between everything changing, and almost nothing changing at all.
I know why that line is there. You know why that line is there.
BuzzFeed does not have many Republican readers. The most voracious media consumers today are lefties animated by the same rage as James Hodgkinson, the Bernie Sanders supporter, who carried out the attack. They may not go out there with a gun. But they are furious at the sympathetic coverage. They argue that treating Republicans as human beings is "normalizing" them. And their motto is no normalizing people they disagree with. It makes it harder to shoot them.
And so, there is that line. "You may love them, or you may disagree with almost everything they stand for, but that morning, the roughly two dozen people on that field just tried to stay alive."
Don't think about their politics. Think of them as human beings.
It's a mile marker. It's an admission of where we are. There has to be a defense, an apology of writing about Republican victims of a mass shooting as human beings.