Another Republican candidate for president has joined Christian freak of nature Mike Huckabee in signaling that using violence is the preferred conservative means of dealing with citizens who dare to participate in a legal activity in the “increasingly exceptional” United States of America. It is prescient that about a month ago, a major newspaper in Mexico City, La Jornada, wrote that “the U.S. has become a structurally violent state where force is frequently used domestically to resolve differences. Such a phenomenon reflects the feeling of extensive sectors about the supposed legitimacy of violent methods.” Obviously, one of the sectors touting “the supposed legitimacy of violent methods” is now mainstream Republicans and it is unclear if they are embracing their extremist supporters tactics, or devised the “methods” of their own accord; likely it is a little of both.
The latest Republican presidential candidate to express his predilection to use violence against other Americans is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Maybe he is building his tough guy bona fides in case he has to spend time in prison, but he likely did not think it through because he is threatening predominately women (over 74%) school teachers. Like every Republican, Christie hates school teachers as much as he does public education, and has particular Koch-inspired animosity for the National Teachers Union. According to Christie, the single most destructive force in public education is not poverty or underfunding, or Republican governors diverting public school funds to private religious schools, or Republican trickle down advocates slashing education to fund corporate tax cuts; it is public school teachers and their labor organization.
Christie claims that the reason he wants to “punch them in their faces” is because according to a typical Koch-Republican lie regarding public school teachers is that unions advocate for teachers, they hate educating children, and they have no concern for America’s youth. His Koch-hatred for any organized labor is so intense that Christie embraces the increasingly natural tendency among conservatives in general, and Republicans in particular, and publicly stated “I will punch them in their faces.”
Of course, threatening violence against Americans for engaging in legal activities like belonging to a labor union is nothing new for Republicans. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee continues, publicly no less, promising that if he is in the White House and commander in chief of the United States armed forces he will direct the military to put a stop to legal abortions. It is easily a blatant escalation in the religious Republican war against America’s women. However, Huckabee did not clarify if he would use the military to kill women or abortion providers; something another Christian fanatic was very direct about.
It was “quietly reported” late last week that a violence-prone pro-life activist, Angela Dillard, has to stand trial for “successfully harassing and intimidating a doctor” who had planned to provide abortion services in Kansas. Dillard argued that she enjoyed First Amendment freedom to issue death threats against the doctor, but an Appellate Court disagreed and said a jury could reasonably find that a threatening letter conveyed a true threat of violence. The Appeals Court decided that, “The context in this case includes Wichita’s past history of violence against abortion providers, the culmination of this violence in Dr. Tiller’s murder before Defendant mailed her letter, Defendant’s publicized friendship with Dr. Tiller’s killer, and her admiration of his convictions”.
Dillard is a Christian songwriter, evangelical fanatic and notorious anti-choice radical with “godly” devotion to the confessed murderer of Dr. George Tiller, Scott Roeder. After Roeder walked into a church and murdered Doctor Tiller, the devout follower of Christ sent a letter to a Doctor Means that presented a “vision” of what her life would look like if she dared provide legal medical services in Wichita, Kansas. Dillard sent the death threat because Dr. Means was preparing to start offering abortion services at the clinic of the late abortion provider. In that letter, Dillard explained how thousands of people from across the country were already scrutinizing Dr. Means’ background and “pledged that very soon, thousands of like-minded pro-life Christians would know all your habits and routines. They know where you shop, they know who your friends are, what you drive, and where you live. You will be checking under your car every day because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.”
Dillard’s notoriety did not help her “First Amendment freedom” argument because she had been quoted in an Associated Press article professing her undying admiration for Roeder because he shot and killed Dr. George Tiller for legally practicing medicine. Apparently, Dillard had no reservations telling the Associated Press that she developed a close friendship with Roeder while he was imprisoned awaiting trial and applauded his violent act against an American engaging in a legal activity; one evangelicals do not like. She said, “With one move, Roeder was able to accomplish what we had not been able to do. So he followed his convictions, and I admire that.”
This idea of using violence, or threatening to use violence, against Americans engaging in legal activities is gaining acceptance in conservative circles, including nationally-recognized Republicans, and is not reserved for abortion providers or school teachers. Republicans have openly called for, and supported, violence against the LGBT community long before marriage equality was settled. Recently in California a religious maniac attempted to put an initiative on the ballot calling for state-mandated execution of gays.
In Oklahoma, a Republican candidate for the state’s legislature publicly endorsed stoning gays to death because “ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death (in Leviticus) is very remiss.” Last year when rancher Cliven Bundy summoned armed militias to confront and threaten federal agents performing their legal duty, Republicans rushed to defend the acts of sedition as good American patriots standing up to the government with threats of violence. After the massacre of 20 six-year-old children and six adults prompted President Obama to call for background checks for firearm purchases, gun zealots called for armed rebellion and threatened violence against the government.
How long before Republicans begin openly calling on their supporters to assassinate Democratic members of Congress, President Obama, or Supreme Court jurists who fail to acquiesce to conservative demands? It is not out of the realm of possibility in Republican circles because within a week two Republican candidates for president have threatened violence against other Americans engaging in legal activities like being a school teacher in a labor union and being a woman making a reproductive health choice Republicans do not like. The Mexico City newspaper is right; America is a structurally violent nation and there is no greater proof than a presidential candidate threatening to “punch school teachers in their faces” because they belong to organized labor or pledging to call out the army to stop legal abortion.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.