Here’s the message.
It is a federal offense to threaten elected officials. In fact, less than two months ago, a Denton, Texas, man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for sending a threatening email message to U.S. Congressman Theodore Yoho of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District.
But Democratic officials are not the only targets of Trump and the ultra-right wing’s rhetoric and attacks. Anyone who does not at least pretend that MAGA-reality isn’t completely delusional is vulnerable to, and frequently is, subject to the same treatment. VICE released a short documentary covering some of the election officials around the country who have been threatened and terrorized by the MAGA crowd as a result of the Big Lie. That video, which can be watched below, profiles election officials in Philadelphia, Georgia’s Fulton and Paulding counties, and Iowa, who have been terrorized by a group of fascists who want to pressure them into overturning their county and state election results.
Elections director of Fulton County, Richard Barron, received upward of 150 voicemails threatening his life between Christmas and New Years Day 2021. This is after Barron was singled out by then-President Donald Trump at a rally in Georgia. The voicemails he received are brutal, most threatening gun violence against Barron. In the case of Philadelphia City Commissioner Republican Al Schmidt (Republican!), the threats he and his wife received began arriving immediately after Donald Trump tweeted out an attack on him days after 2020 election day. His three children were threatened, pictures of his home, his child’s nickname, and more were used in these threats. Eventually, the harassment led to his family having to find a secret place to live, under 24-hour security. It is chilling.
Barron is going to continue his job, but Schmidt says he will not run again for City Commissioner when his term is up. All of these threats should be investigated, and to some degree, it seems that many of them are being investigated. As of this story, however, no one has been charged in any of the cases.
This is a reminder of the modern GOP and their propaganda wing, along with their pretend-billionaire pied piper Donald Trump, normalizing what once would have been considered absolutely unacceptable levels of domestic terrorist activities, and building entire nightly programming around such feckless operators.