Wednesday, October 24, 2018, will go down as a scary one. There were multiple reports that we had to parse through, trying to figure out who was being sent suspicious, bomb-like packages.

Across the board, rightly so, the packages and whoever sent them were condemned as an insane level of violence no doubt inspired by the rhetoric of the current day and age. Republicans recognized that the Clintons, Obamas, CNN, and others did not deserve that level of threat at their doorstep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not deserve it. George Soros did not deserve it.

If it turns out that it was a crazed right-leaning individual, then I think we can agree that his or her actions were the product of a deranged mind that had, as I put it earlier, dehumanized his or her political foes to the point that trying to scare them or even take their lives was no big deal. And, if this person was inspired by the words of Donald Trump, then we as conservatives must take that into account going forward.

But, Donald Trump does not happen in a vacuum. These feelings of absolute hatred and separation from our fellow man do not happen in a vacuum.

Think back to years ago, when someone birthed the idea that there was no room in the public square for people guilty of thinking or believing the wrong thing. Donald Trump happened because a segment of Americans had repeatedly been told by Democratic politicians, progressive activists, and even the media that their thoughts and views were backward and unfit to exist alongside them.

There has been a movement for a long time to drive Christians and conservatives from the public square. They have been consistently dehumanized, driven out of their homes and businesses, and even attempts to write them out of history, or rewrite them as more progressive than they were.

I know that’s not going to be a popular point. I get that people are going to say “Oh, poor, white Christians whose bigotry is being pushed back against!” And, frankly, that’s exactly the attitude that has brought us to where we are now. There is no room for disagreement. You are either with the progressive agenda, or you are a vile, racist, homophobic piece of garbage who should not be allowed to breathe the same air as they do.

If you cannot see how attempting to ostracize a segment of people out of the public square may have set America on a path of increasingly violent rhetoric, what is it going to take? How many people ultimately need to die before you decide that maybe casting judgment on someone you don’t actually know because they think different things than you do is actually a bad idea?

It will lead to bloodshed if we don’t stop. But, we have to stop. We have to try to come together. I cannot stress enough how unsustainable this culture of violent rhetoric and increasing hatred is, and the only way to combat it is to do so ourselves.