The Tea Party’s method of conflict resolution rears its violent head once again. This time a participant in a Tea Party sponsored conference call thought the best way to persuade Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to change her mind about immigration reform is to assassinate her.
Think Progress reports:
The most jarring and unexpected moment of the night was when the moderator opened up the phone lines to callers:(Continued Below)
BOB FROM MAINE: I’m from Maine and our Tea Party will be meeting up next week. What is the best way that we can get our senator to listen to us?
ANOTHER CALLER: Shoot her. [laughter]
MODERATOR: Yes, we will shoot her with…(inaudible) and phone calls.
The conference call was held by the far right wing group, The Eagle Forum. The collective response of participants was laughter. According to reports, no one objected to the assassination threat.
It’s worth noting that threatening a government official’s life is a crime.
It isn’t like this is the first time individuals within or sympathetic to the Tea Party advocated violence against dissenters from within their ranks, or people who outright oppose the extreme ideas the Tea Party stands for.
In 2010, ten Democrats received death threats from Tea Party opponents of Obamacare.
During the 2010 election, the Tea Party’s Sharon Angle, hid behind her supporters’ calls for “second amendment remedies” if the election results are not to the Tea Party’s liking.
Earlier this year, the second amendment remedy was recycled to use against lawmakers in Arkansas who dared to vote in favor of Medicare Expansion in the state. This time, the threat came in the form of a Republican Party newsletter.
We need to let those who will come in the future to represent us [know] that we are serious. The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives. It seems that we are unable to muster that belief in any of our representatives on a state or federal level, but we have to have something, something costly, something that they will fear that we will use if they step out of line.
In 2011, a failed Tea Party candidate indulged in a racist screed when he called for assassinating President Obama and his daughters.
Earlier this year, a co-founder of the Sooner, Oklahoma Tea Party, Al Gerhart’s threatened State Senator Cliff Branan (R) life over his lack of capitulation to the Tea Party’s opposition to Agenda 21. According to The Raw Story’s report,
Gerhart sent state Senator Cliff Branan (R) a death threat via email, writing that if Brannan didn’t acquiesce to Tea Party pressure over “Agenda 21,” the supposed U.N. “mind-control” plot, “We will dig into your past, your family, your associates and once we start on you there will be no end to it. This is a promise.”
And let’s not forget the threats of violence on signs at Tea Party protests and rallies, such as “We came unarmed this time.”
In other words, the Tea Party has no tolerance for freedom of thought if exercised in a manner that doesn’t conform to their ideology.
The free flow of ideas is an essential trait of a free society. Needless to say, those who advocate killing people with whom they disagree on any given point are not advocating anything resembling freedom.
Image from Erik Lundegaard.com