MINOT, N.D. — Over the last four years of the Trump presidency, how many violent protests have we seen from left-wing demonstrators?

How many private businesses vandalized?

Bystanders beaten?

Buildings "occupied" and pipelines tampered with?

This summer, as many Black Lives Matter protesters undermined their own cause against police violence by behaving violently themselves, many left-wing commentators took to excusing the violence. "Only riots, burning result in action," wrote former Democratic-NPL Lt. Governor Lloyd Omdahl.

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Just this week I broke news that Democratic-NPL party leaders have been donating money for the legal defense of a man arrested for attacking Republican Sen. John Hoeven's office with an ax.

That's what I've been thinking about as I watched the shameful spectacle of Trump supporters, with the President himself on Twitter actively inciting them, fighting with law enforcement (so much for the "back the blue" stuff) and storming the U.S. Capitol as, inside, Congress worked to certify Electoral College votes.

"Shameful" isn't even a strong enough word for what's taking place. "Disgusting" doesn't feel sufficient, either.

I bring up the left's protests not as an excuse, but to make a point about escalation. After watching left-wing zealots try to beat-and-burn their way to political victory, some on the right have concluded that this is the way to get things done.

Thus, the violence in Washington, D.C.

Making the scene of the inside of our Congressional building — the beating heart of American democracy — clouded with tear gas as screaming zealots attempted to force their way into the Senate chamber worse was watching left-wing commentators on social media suddenly supportive of law enforcement's efforts at crowd control.

I guess the cops aren't fascists as long as they're shooting tear gas at the right people?

Many commentators, on both the left and the right, including me, have argued that condoning political violence is a dangerous game. That it would inevitably lead to escalation.

If one side is excused, the other side is going to follow suit believing their actions are justified too.

We must stop making excuses for the extremes of American politics. It doesn't matter if they're on our side, or my side, or someone else's side. In fact, it behooves us to conclude that these angry ignorants aren't on anybody's side.

Once you cross a line into using violence to bully others to your way of thinking, your politics become irrelevant.

This is a sad day for our country. It's time for us to unite, and stop catering to the extremists.

To comment on this article, visit www.sayanythingblog.com

Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com.