We write so many stories here at DC Tribune about billboards guaranteed to piss off the subjects of them — signs about Donald Trump or signs about Mitch McConnell — that sometimes it gets hard to remember that people don’t just use these giant roadside announcements as a way to poke fun or inform people of a fact.
Sometimes folks use them purely to spread hate.
That’s the order of the day in North Carolina, in the tiny town of Murphy, situated on Highway 64, where a gun shop owned and operated by Doc Wacholz has erected a billboard that refers to a group of four Democratic Congresswomen not by their widely known nickname “the Squad,” but as “The 4 Horsemen” and “idiots.”
Reminiscent of the campaign run by Sarah Palin back in 2011, when a map of Democratic political opponents was fashioned with crosshairs over the faces of elected officials that Republicans should help “get rid of,” conservatives really either don’t seem to understand what inciting violence is, or, if I’m being a little more cynical — are simply hoping that anything bad that comes of things like this happens before they get caught, and they can pretend they had no idea their message would inspire such hatred.
That’s certainly what they did when Rep. Gabby Giffords, one of the Democrats targeted in Palin’s ad, was shot in the face.
This billboard, however, is a little less subtle. It literally refers to them as Biblical enemies of good — the legendary bringers of Conquest, War, Famine, and Plague, harbingers of the end times and the apocalypse.
The shop’s owner, Wacholz, insists there’s nothing wrong with it, telling the Asheville Citizen-Times:
They’re socialists, from my point of view. I also feel a couple of them, being Muslim, have ties to actual terrorist groups. I’m not inciting any violence or being racist. It’s a statement. It’s an opinion.”
Of course, only one of them is an avowed socialist — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But the GOP has been practicing calling anything to the left of Sean Hannity “socialism” for years. In fact, during the second Democratic debates on CNN, I actually watched an approved-by-Trump political ad that literally said all of the candidates were socialists and that they were “all the same.”
That’s hilariously false. But the message behind it — these people are bad, you are good, and good people don’t vote for bad people — is the same as the Cherokee Guns billboard. One of the Congresswomen depicted, in fact, had the same question I had:
How the hell is this not inciting violence? https://t.co/rgdDloiePq
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 31, 2019
Featured image via screen capture
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