There have been some troubling events in the last couple of days and I feel compelled to talk about them because they relate to issues that I have covered in various posts and Water Coolers. In the last week there has been death threats to 15 Wisconsin Republican Senators over their votes in the collective bargaining stripping bill.
There have also been threats to the Mackinac Center in Michigan. The Center recently got some press for filing Freedom of Information Act requests of the entire labor studies department at the University of Michigan and other professors at Wayne State and Michigan State.
Unlike the Wisconsin case there is no suspect and no one arrested at this point. It is kind of annoying for me to have to say this, since I don’t want to think that the Left would ever stoop to this kind of tactic, whereas I am always willing to believe the worst of the Howler Monkey’s of the Right, but this is unacceptable for anyone, ever.
Let me be really clear, I am not pointing a finger at anyone on the FDL family of sites. One of the things that will always get a post or a comment pulled for moderation is threats of or advocating of violence.
Politics is often heated, hell at a site where we mostly agree on goals we can get pretty damned heated amongst ourselves. Any time there is a move towards violence it is bad for a democracy. I think that we can all agree that our democracy has enough problems without adding a growing culture that accepts change by violence as a viable means of political change.
The young woman who made the threats admitted to doing it when confronted by the police. 26 year old Katharine Windels was angry and overly emotional. She said in her interview that she never intended to follow through on the threat she made, yet she made a very scary threat.
In part her e-mails to the State Senators read:
“Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks”
That is not the kind of thing that is acceptable, even in the heat of a fight where one side seems to be breaking the rules and laws of the State. I know this is remedial for everyone reading it but it is never, ever going to be acceptable to try to intimidate politicians or political groups with violence. Even the mere threat does damage that is hard to correct to our discourse. Anyone one doing it, no matter their political beliefs is anathema to me and should be to anyone involved in politics in any fashion.