Democrats cannot be silent on left-wing violence

Democratic politicians — including senatorial candidate John Hickenlooper — should unequivocally condemn this summer’s violent left-wing protests in opposition to police misconduct.

The mostly white mobs, claiming to promote racial justice, represent a radicalized faction of the Democratic base. Silence regarding their actions smacks of tacit approval. Condemning the violence in no way projects approval of police brutality and murder, which the country must address with measures that save lives — not upheaval that kills and destroys.

Mainstream Democrats, unaffiliated voters, and the rest of civilized society have had enough. They are tired of Black people, including dozens of children, dying because of nationwide chaos that has demoralized cops and tied their hands.

Locally, left-wing protesters showed up in a middle-class Colorado Springs neighborhood this month in such a violent fashion the police ordered residents to shelter-in-place for hours. Activists were so heavily armed the police sheltered in a command vehicle to avoid escalating tensions and igniting a gunfight.

Protesters armed with AR-15s and other military rifles blocked residents from driving to their homes. Video shows one protester’s finger on a trigger as another held a black rifle in the ready position while facing down a pickup driver.

More violence erupted over the past weekend in Denver, when heavily armed left-wing demonstrators converged on the Denver Police Department headquarters to demand the dissolution of the department. They injured an officer who is hospitalized with third-degree burns.

In typical fashion, protesters burned property, desecrated a flag, and broke glass. They ransacked a Quiznos restaurant owned by a family that did nothing to them and has nothing to do with policing.

For months, the Democrats who control Denver, the state government, and both chambers of the legislature neglected to demand intervention or to express an appropriate level of outrage and condemnation. Even as protesters attacked the state capitol building, Democratic politicians remained eerily silent. Violent protests were not mentioned at the Democratic National Convention last week.

The finest condemnation came from Murphy Robinson, executive director of Denver’s Department of Public Safety, who voted in the Democratic presidential primary.

“They had guns. They brought explosives, axes, machetes, and had one intent purpose. And that was to harm our officers that were there to serve in the line of duty, to protect our city,” Robinson said during a Sunday press conference.

Robinson told activists to stop using him and other Blacks as the rationale for violence.

“You do not represent us,” Robinson said. “Stop using the color of my skin as an excuse to tear up my city. These countless acts are not helpful. They do not represent what Black lives are about, or the city that Black lives helped build for generations.”

Hickenlooper has long talked about law-enforcement reforms but did not achieve them during 16 successive years as Denver mayor and governor. Today, as he seeks another statewide office, the public needs to know his stand on violent protests but we haven’t heard a word.

Rational Democrats have a choice. They can let a small contingent of criminal terrorists wag the dog, or they can act like civilized adults and condemn violent incivility.

-The Colorado Springs Gazette