I don’t know if he was there to kill me.
Monday night I was sitting in a hotel lobby in downtown Des Moines with my back to a wall of windows, my eyes fixed on the TV, my attention wholly focused on early caucus results. I didn’t notice until he was standing right next to me, much closer than is ordinary or comfortable. When he started he speaking it was like he was picking up in the middle of sentence, finishing a conversation we had begun earlier, but I couldn’t remember ever meeting him.
“…So what is it that you teach?”
“I am a professor of political science.”
“My wife is a professor of communications.”
“Does she teach here in Iowa?”
“What I want to know is how you got credentialed to be on MSNBC.”
I am not sure if it is how he spat the word credentialed, or if it is how he took another half step toward me, or if it is how he didn’t respond to my question, but the hairs on my arm stood on end. I ignored it. Told myself everything was ok.
“Well. It is not exactly a credential…” I began.
“But why you? Why would they pick you?”
Now I know something is wrong. Now his voice is angry. Now a few other people have stopped talking and started staring. Now he is so close I can feel his breath. Before I can answer his unanswerable question of why they picked me, he begins to tell me why he has picked me.
“I just want you to know why I am doing this.”
Oh – there is a this. He is going to do a this. To me. And he is going to tell me why…
RTFA. Please. This creep is one of thousands, millions of self-deluded Americans who says they aren’t bigots, sexist. And he thinks he isn’t at all intimidating. Except when he want to be intimidating.
I’ve volunteered as bodyguard a number of times BITD. The big burly dude in a leather jacket who looks willing and able to break the arms off any creep who believes threatening activists with death is OK. Actually, my prime task was being willing to put my own body in the way if the threat seemed real and imminent. And that was OK with me.
But, the scumbags who sincerely believe their religious and/or political ideology justifies mortal harm to other civilians are nothing less than terrorists. No difference between them and ISIS. Especially if their God or the political idol they worship says they deserve heavenly reward for their violence.
RTFA. I’m an old and cranky geek, now – but, I wish I was there beside Melissa. That sucker wouldn’t have gotten away.