We've been here before - A quick look at violence against Congress:
Bottom Line: Yesterday's attack, which appears to have been motivated by political hatred, was unique in the way it was carried out but it wasn't something new.
- We've had four Presidents assassinated. The first in 1865, the most recent in 1963 - with another close call in 1981
- We've had 14 Congressional Representatives killed while serving - The first in 1831, the most recent in 1983
- We've had an additional 10 Congressional Representatives wounded in office - as early as 1856, and of course, most recently in 2011 with Gabby Giffords - until yesterday
Perspective is key for multiple reasons. First, we're prone to recency bias. Especially in partisan political settings. Whatever we're going through and feeling today almost always feels worse than something in the past, especially if we didn't live through the experience. As bad as it seems today, it almost certainty was worse previously. None of us can begin to imagine the civil war era. It's safe to say that's far and away the most divided we've been as a country. We should all take a deep breath in this charged environment as some are taking a pause from the usual partisan rhetoric in the wake of the Alexandria shooting and acknowledge that our day to day frustrations aren't the end of the world. On a less optimistic note, it's also instructive.
There isn't going to be ongoing civility in partisan politics. It didn't last after Lincoln, or JFK. It didn't last after the Reagan assignation attempt or that of Gabby Giffords. For that matter how long did it even last after 9/11? It's all amplified today by 24/7 media everywhere and social media on top of it. And that's ok. This country has remained the greatest through it all. Americans are fighters, it's in our DNA. My motto is passion+talent=unstoppable. So channel your passion for something positive and control what you can control. There has always been hate and they'll continue to be hate. You don't have to participate and our country will be great again.