Earlier this week, we wrote about a threatening letter to a Trump supporter that went viral on social media. Unsurprisingly, we weren’t fond of this kind of letter and I made my opinions pretty clear about this, though there was some doubt as to the veracity. At this point, we’ve seen too many “hate crimes” turn out to be hoaxes not to be skeptical.
However, it seems that letter wasn’t the first purportedly sent.
Federal and state charges have been filed against a Frederick man who’s accused of targeting the homes of voters because of their political signs in their yard.
James Dale Reed, 42, is in custody at the Frederick County Detention Center charged with voter intimidation and threatening candidates. He’s also facing federal charges, and he’s no stranger to federal authorities.
Authorities identified Reed as the man in a doorbell surveillance video that was recorded as he allegedly left a threatening letter at the home of Mark Posthuma and his wife earlier this month.
“I thought it was pretty scary, but in the political climate of today, it’s probably not too surprising,” Posthuma said.
The letter said the Posthumas were being targeted because they support the Biden-Harris ticket and were identified because of the signs in their yard. It also threatened violence against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and gun control advocates.
That, of course, triggered the Secret Service to get involved.
Now, let’s note this was against a Biden supporter and against Biden himself. That’s going to get a visit from the Secret Service, as it should.
Let me be clear. This kind of thing isn’t appropriate coming for either side. Yes, this election is rough and it’s very easy to see the fate of the nation hinging on the results. Honestly, I think it does.
Yet despite that, death threats against people for the sin of disagreeing with you is beyond stupid. It’s disgusting. You don’t actually accomplish anything. No one sees a death threat–either in print or digital forms–and thinks, “Oh, crap! Someone says they’ll kill me if X happens. I’d best change all my ways immediately. How could I have been so wrong?”
No. Instead, they dig in and take it as a point of pride they stood up to the death threats.
Oh, some people get really quiet, sure, but they don’t change what they’re doing. In other words, a death threat has never stopped pretty much anyone from doing anything.
Hell, in this day and age, a death threat is almost a point of pride when you’re involved in politics. It’s something you can brag about when you’re with others of your particular political persuasion. It’s something you can hammer the other side with when you’re calling them unhinged–both sides have people who can claim this and there are unhinged on both sides as well.
But it never changes anything except by making it worse.
Frankly, it’s time for this to end. Now. Not after the election, but last week. Doing this crap from either direction isn’t going to help anyone’s cause.