Were Gov. Matt Bevin’s controversial remarks about the “blood of patriots” more like the famous Thomas Jefferson quote or more like Tim McVeigh’s credo?
Let’s consider the context.
As for Jefferson, historians believe he was referring to the abstract principle of revolutionary change. Remember that he was writing from France not long before their merciless revolution. Jefferson thought their revolutionary cause to be just, in spite of its methods. So, he wanted to admonish the leaders of government everywhere: Treat your citizens with the dignity and respect that every citizen deserves.
For McVeigh, Jefferson’s remark was a rationale for violent action, instead of an admonition to government. He was horribly wrong.
As I remember, McVeigh never even tried and probably never even considered non-violent action. The action he took was barbaric, as everyone saw. It seems there are more people around us today like McVeigh than we’d like to think.
Add fiery political rhetoric that panders to all kinds of extremists. This is wedge politics put into practice and it’s the context of Bevin’s remarks. That’s why Bevin sounded like he was exhorting those prone to violence.