Another Republican Candidate Wants To Jail Political Opponents


As a politico, I enjoy the back-and-forth of election season. Our nation has always produced steamy rhetoric that riles the opponents while energizing the base of the antagonist. But there is also the obvious recognition that in a democracy there are lines that should not be crossed. Must not be crossed.

Such as in the case with Scott Jensen, a Minnesota Republican candidate for governor.

GOP governor candidate Scott Jensen told Republicans that “the hammer’s coming down” on Secretary of State Steve Simon for his management of the state’s election system.

Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen took a “lock him up” message on the campaign trail recently, suggesting that Secretary of State Steve Simon deserved imprisonment for his management of the state’s election system.

Speaking April 23 at the Minnesota Third Congressional District Republican organizing convention in Plymouth, Jensen sparked loud cheers from the crowd when he warned that “the hammer’s coming down” on Simon, a DFLer.

“We are not voter suppressors. We have a simple attitude: Make sure that every ballot in the box belongs there. Make sure that it’s easy to vote, hard to cheat, and if you cheat, you’re going to jail,” Jensen said. “And Steve Simon, you maybe better check out to see if you look good in stripes, because you’ve gotten away with too much, too long under [Minnesota Attorney General Keith] Ellison, and the hammer’s coming down.”

It does not require being a Rhodes Scholar to grasp at once that states or countries with the types of laws or reckless behavior that allow for winners in elections to imprison the losers of those elections, or other political opponents, are not ones we can say are democratic. The Republican Party has candidates who have used this idea of imprisoning political opponents since 2016 when Donald Trump stated, that if elected, he would pursue actions to imprison his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Such rhetoric was rancid them. It is equally reprehensible now.

One can say the GOP candidates who mimic such dangerous words from Trump do not have fertile minds, needing to regurgitate old lingo to the base of the party. If the best they can offer are echoes of an autocratic personality, what pray tell, do they offer for today’s electorate?

We know, of course, that what has been unleashed on the nation since Trump took an escalator ride has proven to be toxic for our political culture. So consider for one moment–one paragraph–what could happen if the likes of Jensen were to prevail. How might Allen Drury see the lay of that political landscape unfold in a book?

If Senator Seabright Cooley thought that a lost election would result in physical harm might he not do anything to ensure that the election was not lost? Surely Drury would see where this leads. The candidate who made the threat knows the opponent will now fight harder and the pursuit of extreme and dangerous moves is unleashed. Democracy suffers.

But who cares when there is a Republican rally with angry males waiting for red meat rhetoric like feeding time at a zoo? And make no mistake about itthis rhetoric is aimed at males. Forget the responsibility that comes with a candidate taking a stage, and while wanting to gain support on the one hand, also knowing that larger duties to state and nation need to be upheld.

We know from the evidence what follows when rhetoric like Jensen is used. What follows is an uptick in violent rhetoric being espoused from the base. It is lost on the candidates who sow such anger, and certainly from the demographics who are being played to, that decorum and civility are essential parts of a working democracy.

Republicans like to claim they are for law and order. But what is being demonstrated again and again, as with Jensen, is a large gap between a principle and what is actually being said to their base. Violent and undemocratic speech is harmful.

And so it goes.

3 thoughts on “Another Republican Candidate Wants To Jail Political Opponents

  1. Dekerivers wrote, “Our nation has always produced steamy rhetoric that riles the opponents while energizing the base of the antagonist. But there is also the obvious recognition that in a democracy there are lines that should not be crossed. Must not be crossed.

    We are in complete agreement.

    Common sense rules of civility should be observed in politics too.

    Since the 21st century rolled around, we have seen in the United States and underlying cancerous culture shift that’s driving our politics to stoop to spewing uncivil, unethical, immoral, gaslighting, bald-faced lies, extrapolations of cherry picked rhetoric to absurdity and outright hate (hate: feel intense or passionate dislike for someone) filled propaganda. I’ve been writing about the cancerous culture shift and hate filled propaganda for a while. We’ve also seen a major increase of ad hominem attacks across the board, it seems to me that it’s become so politically correct since 2008 (so PC that it’s actually changed what’s “acceptable” in our society) that when people disagree with an opinion they go straight using their societal hammer and attack the messenger not the opinion. You can’t just disagree anymore, you have to destroy that which disagrees with you, it’s cultural poison and immoral. There are many people in the USA since the turn of the century that consider any political opposition as being evil (evil: profoundly immoral and wicked), you can taste the levels of outright bigotry and hate in the air.

    You are correct Dekerivers, there are lines in politics that should not be crossed.

    However, this particular controversary is not one of those lines.

    Secretary of State Steve Simon literally bastardized state election laws and ignored a state law requiring voters using mail-in ballots in 2020 to have someone verify their identity and confirm they filled out their ballot themselves, and he’s not the only one across the USA that intentionally bastardized election laws in 2020 allowing an unknown number of less-than-legal ballots to be entered into the election count. Whether you like it or not, it’s a valid campaign platform to take a public stand and be against this kind of bastardization action from the Minnesota Secretary of State. Scott Jensen knows, you know, the voters know that if he is elected he can’t just throw Steve Simon in jail because the Governor doesn’t have that kind of power; however, Steve Simon’s actions as the Secretary of State in the 2020 election (that the political left rationalizes) is fair game to be investigated. We can quibble for a week of Tuesday’s about the verbiage of Scott Jensen’s rhetoric but the message he is sending is clear, if he is elected he will push for Steve Simon’s actions to be investigated; so, either vote for him and enforce election laws vs stick with the Democratic leadership and their bastardization of election laws.

    Law and order has an inherent value in our culture and that value is being intentionally undermined by political extremists.

    Lastly, to my knowledge, Scott Jensen has not used the phrase “lock him up” even once in his campaign messaging. The author at the Star Tribune inserting “Scott Jensen took a ‘lock him up’ message on the campaign trail” into the article in the manner in which they did was very intentional and is unscrupulous misinformation! They should not have used the quotes because it directly implies that he actually said it and that is a bald-faced lie.

    Rhetorical question; who do you think are the worst culprits in the United States currently violating these kinds of common sense rules of civility?

  2. By the way, the title to this particular blog post “Another Republican Candidate Wants To Jail Political Opponents” has two implications a lie by omission.

    Implications
    It implies that there are many Republicans that want to jail political opponents. It implies that this Republican (to be named in the post) want’s to jail his opponent(s), as in other gubernatorial candidate(s). It also implies that the Republican candidate wants to jail opponents (plural) just because they are political opponents i.e. Democrats.

    Lie By Omission
    The candidate thinks that Steve Simon (one person) engaged in an illegal action while performing his election duties as Minnesota Secretary of State in 2020.

    Your title is pure clickbait and it shows loads and loads of bias, plus your post content does not reasonably support the implications in the title. This title was terrible, I know you can do better than this.

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