Leonard Pitts: What did they do with their humanity?

Let us not pretend the overwhelming bulk of the danger does not stem from conservatives.

(Doug Mills | The New York Times) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with her husband, Paul Pelosi, during the ceremonial swearing-in of the 116th Congress in the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 3, 2019. Paul Pelosi was hospitalized after he was assaulted by someone who broke into the couple's residence in San Francisco early on Friday morning, Oct. 28, 2022, a spokesman said.

An 82-year-old man sustains a skull fracture from a predawn home invasion, and you think it’s funny? Or that it’s fodder for another dumb conspiracy theory?

What did you do with your humanity? Where did you mislay your souls? Have you no sense of decency at long last? One is tempted to say that in your response to Friday morning’s attack on Paul Pelosi, many of you on the political right have hit rock bottom. But you lot have a knack for excavating depths that would make the Mole Man think twice, so let’s just content ourselves with saying that you’ve struck a new low.

According to San Francisco Police, Pelosi was awakened before 2:30 in the morning by an intruder calling “Where’s Nancy?” a reference to Pelosi’s wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Paul Pelosi managed to call 911 and police arrived to find him and another man struggling over a hammer, which the intruder snatched away and used to bash the speaker’s husband in the head.

One would think this would be a moment for you to set politics aside, to offer words of consolation, comfort - and thanks that Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery. But one would be wrong. While some of you -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Vice President Mike Pence among them -- offered well wishes, others were unable to clear even that low moral bar.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin could not resist telling an audience that they would send Pelosi back to California to join her husband. How Virginia voters are supposed to send a California representative anywhere, he did not say. In Arizona, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake mocked that Pelosi’s home doesn’t have enough protection. And a clutch of conservative luminaries -- Donald Trump Jr., Dinesh D’Souza and Elon Musk among them, promoted a bizarre viral theory that the attack was actually a fight between gay lovers.

So yeah, what is wrong with you? When did you run over your moral compass with a truck?

The question is not about politics. It’s about your demonization of political opponents. It’s about your lies of election skulduggery. It’s about your rejection of objective reality. It’s about your embrace of violent rhetoric and imagery, such that every other campaign commercial now co-stars a gun.

And it’s about how all that culminates in one of your followers invading Pelosi’s home. Meantime, others threaten violence against Democratic lawmakers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Eric Swalwell and perceived GOP turncoats Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, one sent out mail bombs in 2018, and thousands stormed the Capitol in 2021.

Granted, the right has no monopoly on crazies. The 2017 shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise would refute any such claim. But let us not pretend the overwhelming bulk of the danger does not stem from conservatives. There is a reason the Department of Homeland Security lists the far right as the nation’s greatest domestic terror threat.

Yet you behave as if all this were some kind of game. You are sobered by nothing. You are dangerous brats who respect nothing, least of all the country you claim to love.

Was your home training that deficient? Did no one ever sit down with you and offer basic lessons in how to be human? Seriously, what’s your deal? When an unoffending 82-year-old man has his skull broken by anyone, much less by one of your true believers, the proper response is empathy, period.

Shame on you -- and heaven help us all -- that that even needs to be said.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. lpitts@miamiherald.com