THIS NEWSLETTER CONTAINS STRONG, OBSCENE LANGUAGE THAT SOME READERS MAY FIND OFFENSIVE.
I OPENED ANOTHER LOATHSOME EMAIL this morning—this one from a maga-maniac who was foaming at the mouth after listening to one of Rural Americans United’s new radio ads.
As you may have heard, we just launched our $350,000, 14-month advertising campaign. From now through at least the end of next year, Central Washington will be flooded with 20,000 radio spots promoting traditional Democratic values. In an area that’s been smothered for years under a blanket of smarmy Republican propaganda, the ads are already inspiring enthusiasm, and more than that—hope.
In the two weeks since the advertisements began running, 2,000 new subscribers have signed up for this newsletter; and hits on RAU’s website have more than tripled!
But if RAU’s campaign to emphasize Democratic ideals (like public education, healthcare access, restoring aging infrastructure, job creation, immigration reform, and support for unions and veterans) is inspiring hope in Central Washington, it is also bringing fear and fury to MAGA worshippers who oppose those values. Here is the RAU radio ad that so enraged the wingnut who sent this morning’s unhinged email:
Tired of not getting paid what you’re worth? Tired of rich corporate CEOs hogging America’s wealth and leaving crumbs on the table for workers? Tired of Republicans trying to take money away from your kids’ education to support rich private schools? Sick and tired of Republicans failing to take action on immigration reforms that would protect our economy and the immigrants that support it? Help Democrats make America fair again. Go to www.ruralamericansunited.org to learn more. Paid for by Rural Americans United, not endorsed or approved by any candidate.
The vicious message we received in reply is typical of the kind of over-the-top violent language and intimidation tactics Republicans have been using this political season in local election races across our region. It’s not enough to just tell you the email was particularly ugly; we present it uncensored; you’ve got to see it to believe it:
So your radio ad says that you guys would take care of immigration laws?!
You dumb fuck liberal shit bags have already screwed that up look at your dumb fuck potato head puppet for a president that has the southern border wide fucking open! Maybe you should pull your head out of your loose drippy a****** and see the light of day and realize that Democrats are complete fuckstains that are destroying this country! Kiss my ball sack you worthless pieces of shit
This kind of violent language is not unique; it is standard operating procedure in the ever-escalating intimidation playbook being updated constantly by the head of the Republican crime family. It’s taking place nationally—remember Trump’s recent threat that U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley should be executed for treason; and death threats against Republican congresspersons who refused to vote for a MAGA sociopath as their speaker. And it has been happening all too frequently in Central Washington, particularly this year.
According to the Cascadia Advocate, Republican operatives used right-wing media to shower Yakima’s elected mayor with hundreds of threatening messages last month after she attempted to protect shoppers from harassment at a local Walmart. The intimidation against the mayor included doxing (revealing personal information about a person online) and sexual harassment. “In orchestrating this bombardment of an elected official’s personal mobile number with angrily-worded text messages, [Republicans] are seeking to intimidate an elected official so she doesn’t cross them in the future,” the Advocate wrote. “The goal is not to respectfully disagree (which can be done through official channels), it’s to make [the mayor] feel bad … to inflict distress and emotional suffering.”
A local nonpartisan city council member had one of her campaign signs stolen from her yard this month. A few days later, the sign appeared in her across-the-street neighbor’s yard—with FUCK YOU written on it in large letters. When the councilwoman asked the neighbors about the sign, they told her to “fuck off” because it was their “constitutional right.”
After supporters and protesters demonstrated for and against family-friendly drag shows in the Tri-Cities this spring, the Emerald of Siam restaurant in Richland was vandalized and the owners received death threats.
In August, incumbent Pasco City Councilman Irving Brown Sr., the only Black councilman in Pasco and the only Black candidate running for the council, had a campaign sign defaced with racist messages. It wasn’t the first time the issue of race has been raised recently, the Tri-Cities Herald reported. Late last year, a local newspaper publisher voiced frustration that the city council had “given away” a retiring council member's seat to “an African American.”
Republicans have been adding pages to their anti-democratic playbook for years. Ronald Reagan made it OK to favor the wealthy over the working class, Trump made it OK to lie, cheat, steal, bully, intimidate and abuse power to force his agenda on others.
Nowhere is the tactics of MAGA more evident than in rural America. MAGA knows their ideology is not shared with the majority of the American people. So they have perfected a strategy to force it on us. They have only two tactics: disinformation and intimidation. Both are highly effective, and no place is more vulnerable than rural America.
Rural Americans United is beginning to shine a light on those despicable MAGA tactics: by providing accurate, honest information to the people of Central Washington, and by refusing to be intimidated by MAGA threats of violence. We are committed to restoring a culture of respectful, civil discourse to the politics of our region, and we will never, ever resort to violent words or actions.
Founder, Rural Americans United