Most people who follow me know that I’m a born and bred Texan who’s lived in the state my entire life. Many have asked me how, as a progressive, I keep my sanity in a very red state. Typically I tell them that it’s really not that difficult. In fact, I think being a progressive in a strongly red state allows me to see, firsthand, exactly what many conservatives are like. My progressive beliefs have only grown stronger as I’m exposed to more and more ignorance from Republicans on a daily basis.
That being said, there are downsides. Not that I ever feel unsafe being a progressive in Texas, but I’m definitely aware that I have to be more cautious when it comes to expressing my political views. If you’re not careful, what happened to a couple in Richardson, Texas (a suburb of Dallas) can quickly become a reality.
A couple suspects that their dog was killed, and their vehicle destroyed beyond repair, over a Hillary Clinton sign they had placed in their yard.
As reported by KXAN:
Matt Steadman says he wasn’t surprised when three separate signs were stolen from their yard almost as fast as he put them out.
“I just kind of thought, ‘oh well the third sign is still there no big deal,’ ” said Steadman.
But last week that third sign was also taken, followed by an ominous note left under the doormat.
“It said ‘Hillary for Prison 2016,’ ” Steadman said.
The next day the family’s SUV was vandalized to the point an auto shop said it’s unrepairable.
“Smelled the inside of my gas tank and there was bleach,” said Steadman. “I’ve never heard about bleach and gas tanks and cars.”
But it wasn’t over. On Sunday, the Steadman’s 2-year-old Shepard mix named Abby got sick.
“She started tremoring and she started shaking, I called Beth around 4 and said ‘I think somethings wrong with Abby.’ ”
Abby died Monday, the result of ingesting a neurotoxin, according to the Steadman’s veterinarian.
As a huge animal person, this makes me absolutely sick. It’s one thing to vandalize a few signs, or even steal them, but to experience what the Steadman’s have simply because they’re Hillary Clinton supporters is appalling.
This story absolutely infuriates me — but sadly it’s not shocking. As someone who’s lived in this state all my life (and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over five years), there are a lot of crazy people who you have to be weary of if you want to be a progressive in this state.
That’s why you’ll never see me put a sign, stick or anything indicating my political preference on any of my property. While I would love to do it, it’s just not worth the risks. I’ve had friends whose cars have been keyed, windows broken and even one who had their tires slashed because they had Obama stickers on their vehicles.
But this is what our politics have devolved into. The fear-mongering, propaganda and conspiracies have worked people up to such an extent that I really do believe we’re about to reach a point where something really bad is going to happen. While the far-left isn’t innocent in this (there are far-left radicals who can act very unhinged), nothing compares to what we’re seeing pushed by Republicans.
The GOP has reached a point with the success of Donald Trump where conspiracies are on the verge of becoming the Republican party’s entire platform. We’re witnessing a presidential candidate run a fairly successful campaign based mostly on pandering to the irrational idiocy, hateful ignorance and disturbing paranoia found in every far-right conservative blog. Websites like Breitbart, WND and InfoWars that were once mostly visited by radical, conspiracy-driven conservatives have become mainstream sources of news and information for many on the right.
After this election, if we don’t take a good look at ourselves in the mirror to decide who we want to be as a nation, I do truly feel we’re headed toward some sort of tragic event that’s going to put into perspective how dangerous the continued radicalization of our politics has become.
As for the Steadman’s, it’s absolutely heartbreaking that their dog was brutally killed by some sick, low-life parasites simply because of who they want to become our next president. I do truly hope that somehow, someway, the police find out who’s been terrorising this couple.
Watch the segment below via CBS DFW: