Back in 2008 and 2009, when I was awaiting trial and sentencing for threatening the President, the prosecutor kept making a big deal about how I don’t have the right to threaten people just because I disagree with their political views. Apparently, the government figured I deserved a felony conviction and 46 months in the slammer for that, because that’s what they gave me.
Well, look at Eric Clanton — he bashed several dudes over the head with a bike lock, in an effort to get his own political point across, and he only got a misdemeanor conviction and three years of probation. So he’ll have the freedom to get professional jobs, and run for office, and do everything else that non-felons get to do. Why is it a greater crime to hit the “send” button than to leave a guy bleeding out of his head?
The electorate of the Commonwealth of Virginia elected Governor McAuliffe, who then restored my civil rights, so that I could run for office. So I went ahead and exercised that right, and met all the requirements. I gathered 1,000 signatures of registered voters. Many of them were people who said, “If you’re willing to stand out here and ask for a signature to run for office, I’m willing to help you.” And they did help.
In this Greensboro News & Record article, someone writes with regard to me, “Any other time in history he would have been arrested or, at least, run out of town. What is so different today?”
Well, I thought it was the law that said, now that I’ve served my time, and the duly elected Governor has restored my rights, and I’ve collected 1,000 valid signatures, I should be allowed to run. Wasn’t it the need to uphold the rule of law that was used as justification for throwing me in the slammer for 46 months? So either uphold the rule of law, or don’t uphold it.
But it seems like people want to have it both ways. They want to punish me for breaking the law (and continue punishing me for the rest of my life), while celebrating those who break the law as long as they target someone like me (as in the case of the burglary of my home). Or in the case of Antifa guys like Eric Clanton, as long as they’re targeting evil fascist Trump supporters. That guy got let off with a slap on the wrist after doing serious violence, which sends a message to other Antifa members, “Go ahead and bash some skulls in, of people you disagree with politically; even if you get caught, it’s just a misdemeanor.”
I bet his conditions of probation were less restrictive than what the federal courts routinely impose too. It’s pretty arbitrary how federal defendants get treated much worse than state-level defendants, even though their behavior wasn’t any worse, and in many cases they could have been charged by either jurisdiction.
Also, Barbara Comstock said it’s “good news” that I was forced off the ballot, but said nothing to condemn those who resorted to some nefarious tactics to bring about that result. I guess she doesn’t care about consistent application of the rule of law either.
As far as I’m concerned, the government has forfeited any legitimacy to claim it’s being evenhanded in try to protect everyone’s right to express themselves freely. And so have many members of the public. It’s not clear that I’ll ever have the opportunity to try to even those scales, but if it does arise, I’m not sure I’ll feel any moral compunction about doing it. Why would I, especially if I target those who are affiliated with the state?