The slugging of Nathan Tabor, the chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, at a conservatives' rally in Greensboro Tuesday was violence that cannot be tolerated in our political discourse.(from journalnow.com)
It matters not that Tabor is making political hay out of the incident, playing up the fact that his fellow conservatives are calling the incident liberal intolerance. Nor does it matter that Tabor may have first pushed the man who hit him, Governor Vance Spencer of Greensboro. Because in a video posted on the Internet, Spencer can be seen advancing on Tabor. And after Spencer punched him, Tabor didn't hit back. The men swore out warrants for charges of simple assault against each other.
Tabor and fellow Republicans, as well as tea-party members and others, were exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting government bailouts outside the office of Democratic Rep. Mel Watt. Spencer, who'd been arguing with the protesters, crossed the line by throwing the punch.
Civil discourse and debate is crucial to our democracy, and anything less is unacceptable.