Another example of how Donald Trump’s words have consequences here in Wisconsin surfaced this week when Tom Stepanek, a former chair of the Democratic Party’s 6th Congressional District Caucus, and a longtime local activist, was quoted in a New York Times article that featured the following headline: 

As Trump’s Language Grows More Heated, Fears Rise of Political Violence

The article stated,

“In Waushara County, a rural region outside Oshkosh, Wis., Mr. Stepanek, the Democratic chair, recalled that at last year’s county fair, while he was handing out balloons at the party’s booth to a group of young children, a man approached him and said, “If I had my gun right now, I’d shoot all of you.”

Mr. Stepanek, a retired educator, gasped at the time. This week, he said, “That’s what we’ve been kind of seeing, that kind of rhetoric.” Four years ago, Mr. Trump easily carried Waushara County. Mr. Biden seems to be cutting into that margin this year, Mr. Stepanek said, although some people have told him that they don’t want to put a yard sign supporting the Biden campaign out for fear that their house will be vandalized.

They have a permission,” Mr. Stepanek said of right-wing extremists like the man he encountered at the county fair. “I don’t know if I want to say that. I don’t mean it literally. But they feel it’s OK, they can use that kind of language.” 

Read the full New York Times article.


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