Via Charlie Pierce, and Talking Points Memo, I learn about two guys who thought it was a swell idea to stand outside a Democratic congressional candidate's campaign office open-carrying in a menacing manner:
On Thursday, a Fluvanna County [Virginia] resident stood outside Jane Dittmar's Palmyra campaign office to protest Hillary Clinton.
The protester, Daniel Parks, says that he hopes his protest encourages other Trump supporters to stand up for what they believe in.
"I'm just trying to provide a voice for someone who might be a closet supporter of trump. Other people who are a little worried to speak out because of possible persecution," he said.
Parks stood outside the offices for almost 12 hours. Dittmar volunteers say that the protest was disturbing.
"If he wants to support his candidate that's fine, but don't come here and stare into the office all day," said Su Wolff, a Fluvanna County resident and Dittmar volunteer.
Parks was eventually joined by another protester, and Wolff said that the most troubling part of the protest was that both of them started to expose their firearms.
"He turned sideways to be sure that we would see that he has an open carry gun, which is legal, and is fine, but it's intimidating," she said.
Dittmar is running for the House in Virginia's 5th District. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has designated her contest an "Emerging Race" within the party's Red to Blue Program, although Ballotpedia regards the seat as "safely Republican."
Oh, and the Dittmar campaign office has Hillary Clinton signs up. I'm sure that's what aroused the ire of these armed gentlemen.
What I can't help noticing in this is the way Parks describes Trump voters as the true victims here. They're people who are scared to tell anyone they back Trump! They're in the "closet"! They fear "possible persecution"!
The notion that there are a lot of "closet Trump supporters" who are too intimidated to state their true electoral preference is widely accepted in Trump circles, and taken more seriously than it deserves to be by the mainstream media.
Which leads me to wonder about the way this meme could work after Election Day. Trump is likely to lose badly, and we know his supporters are going to think the election was rigged. They're going to say there were voting irregularities in urban areas. They're going to say that Democrats, establishment Republicans, and the media conspired to defeat Trump.
Are they also going to say that Trump supporters were just too scared to vote for him?
Remember: these people absolutely believe the Clinton Body Count. They think Bill and Hillary hire goons to intimidate and kill their enemies.
After November 8, are they going to say that Trump would have won if his (heavily armed) voters hadn't been too terrified to turn out for him?
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog