Writing this on Independence Day leads me to reflect upon just how far we have fallen as a polite society. Certainly opposing political forces have used uncivil tactics in the years following the beginning of independence from the king of Great Britain. But today’s movers and shakers have taken nastiness and rudeness to new lows.

It is interesting to note that the most virulent voices come from the left. Not content to smear, besmirch and just plain lie about their opponents, the “new” left has taken to inciting violence. This became immediately apparent with the shooting, by a leftist gunman, of Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, at a congressional game of baseball. Scalise nearly died and the enormity of the event left decent Americans with a sick feeling in the pits of their stomachs.

Our country was set up to give opposing forces the freedom of their thoughts and beliefs. But the founders never meant for either side of whatever party might be in power to physically abuse those with whom they disagree.

The near-universal hatred of President Trump on the part of Democrats and other leftists has now escalated to include not only members of the administration, but also all Republicans. Protests and near-universal news coverage of their hateful rhetoric by the left-leaning news media no longer seems sufficient. Now leftists call for the destruction of everyone on the right. This is a step too far.

The current hue and cry from leftists is to render all Trump voters inert by any means possible. For instance, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin recently said that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be publicly harassed as a life sentence for her part in the Trump administration. “Life sentence?” Really? Clearly, Rubin has overstepped the boundary of decency.

A far bigger, but even more venomous purveyor of hate and discord, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, recently told a salivating crowd, “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

This, clearly, is not the kind of talk anyone would expect to hear from a member of Congress. If it were only Waters, there would be little threat, as Waters has repeatedly proved her lack of intelligence by making ridiculously inaccurate statements.

But this isn’t just about Waters. She has a following, people who feel authorized to create bedlam and commit countless misdemeanors and worse. In a nutshell, Waters' speech is dangerous. Who knows which of her followers will take her admonishments to a new level, and not only harass Republicans, but even inflict physical harm?

A few high-ranking members of the Democrat party have stated that Waters has overstepped her boundaries. But that alone was not sufficient to disconnect her constant stream of hate and evil.

And then we have the socialist wing of the Democrat party. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrat from Vermont, started the ball rolling, and now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist from New York’s 14th Congressional District has ousted incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley. Cortez, an in-your-face left-wing activist, belongs to the Democrat Socialists of America.

Few of us even knew that the Democrat Socialists of America existed. But on the other hand, it isn’t much of a surprise, either. We haven’t heard much about this group from the media, probably because the socialist part of their title might put off those leaning toward the Democrat side. But now, we should expect to hear much more from this radical, in-house cult.

Liberal Democrats and socialists alike depend upon feeding their voters and potential voters misinformation based upon what they think they want to hear. And their followers lap it up like a cat at a dish of fresh cream. The goal, of course, is to tear down our current system of government, to do away with the rule of law and to create a country of open borders with free everything to those who care to cross the border with Mexico.

Thankfully, these people are in the minority. And at that, they are mostly constrained to the ultra-liberal states of New York and California. Also included in the mix are the cities of the megalopolis, that region extending from Portland, Maine, down the coast to Washington, D.C.

The left has even devolved to equating Republicans with Nazis. The problem is, these people have little knowledge of the terrors of the Nazi regime, and their comparisons are groundless. Just ask the remaining American military folks who participated in that gargantuan struggle to rid the world of hate.

Taking this a step further, most of these America-haters know little, if anything, of American history. As an example, a recent television news broadcast showed a man interviewing people on the beach. The questions were ones that every first-grader of only a few years ago knew by heart. One answer that would seem unbelievable if it weren’t recorded on video, was indicative of the lack of knowledge on the left. The question was, “What is the significance of Fourth of July, 1776?" The lady being interviewed said, “That was when Columbus discovered America.”

So for all who still hold our system of government in reverence, don’t be disheartened. The opposition has no clue of what it takes to be an American and no respect for their country. In essence, they are bound to fail.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.