It is said that politics is a blood sport around these parts. It always has been and probably always will be. Full-contact politics – good-natured, of course. People around here take their politics seriously.

Until recently, however, there has never been much concern about getting hurt over your political views. That was before the Trump era.

On Monday evening, nearly 100 supporters of President Donald J. Trump's re-election were conducting a "stand out' along Route 6 in Fairhaven when someone tossed a bottle from a moving vehicle as it passed the peaceful rally. The bottle struck a woman who was participating in the demonstration. Fortunately, she was not injured.

The rally was also in support of our police officers and against defunding the police, so it is impossible to say which message the attacker was upset about. Whatever it was, he or she lashed out in a violent manner. That is unacceptable.

Tossing a bottle at someone whose political views you disagree with is intolerable. As my friend and colleague Chris McCarthy explained in a commentary today, Monday's incident was not isolated. Violence and vandalism against Trump supporters in our area have happened before. Just ask the 80-year-old veteran who was assaulted twice in Fall River recently for holding a Trump sign at a rotary.

Last week, two women were indicted on federal hate crime charges for assaulting a seven-year-old boy who was wearing a MAGA hat outside the Democrat convention last month. Nicholas Sandmann was victimized by the media after being harassed by a Native American protester simply for wearing a MAGA hat. This type of thing happens all the time to Trump supporters.

Now, before you rush to tell me how unfair I am being and that this happens on both sides, I challenge you to document for me as many cases as you can of Trump supporters attacking Joe Biden supporters. Has a Trump supporter ever done such a thing? I'm sure it has happened but not to the degree that Trump supporters are victims of such behavior.

Tossing a bottle at someone because you disagree with their political views is unacceptable in America, regardless of what those views might be. All Americans should reject the politics of violence and intimidation and defend the free expression of political views. It's the American way.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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