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Civil discourse and First Amendment Rights   

Letter to the Editor

On January 18,2021, Moe Davis (unsuccessful Democratic party candidate for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District seat) made this statement on Twitter: “I was Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo for over 2 years and there’s far more evidence of Congressman Madison Cawthorn’s guilt than there was of guilt for 95+ percent of the detainees. It’s time we start a domestic war on sedition by American terrorists.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While it is true that a tiny percentage of the people who were present in Washington D.C. on January 6 committed illegal acts, there is exactly zero evidence that Madison Cawthorn, President Donald Trump or any other Republican Party official or member planned, abetted or encouraged in any way the alleged criminal acts committed on that day. On the contrary, many thousands of the President’s supporters were there that day to peacefully assemble and make their grievances known to Congress (for Mr. Davis’ information, an activity covered by the First Amendment to the Constitution).

The speakers that day, including Congressman Cawthorn and President Trump, in no way called for an incursion into the Capitol and certainly did not call for violence. There were many citizens of the 11th District present that day who can attest to this fact. It is now known that there was planning done ahead of that day’s events by people who were not supporters of President Trump. It is bad enough that Mr. Davis claims that Congressman Cawthorn is guilty of some vague crime and guiltier than Gitmo detainees.

It is outrageous that he calls for “a domestic war on sedition by American terrorists.” Mr. Davis’ obvious low bar for evidence of guilt of a crime begs the questions: “Who would qualify as a terrorist in Mr. Davis’ envisioned special court?” and “who would carry out this ‘domestic war’?” One wonders if Mr. Davis is rethinking his stated position on waterboarding if it is applied to “American terrorists” and not actual enemies of the United States.

While there is no evidence of President Trump or Congressman Cawthorn inciting violence or any other kind of criminal act, Mr. Davis apparently makes a habit of it.

On September 11, 2019, Mr. Davis, blatantly inciting violence from Democratic party members, sent out the following tweet: “Screw they go low, we go high bullsh*t. When @NCGOP extremists go low, we stomp their scrawny necks with our heels and once you hear the sound of a crisp snap you grind your heel hard and twist it slowly side to side for good measure. He needs to know who whupped his ass.”

Here we at least have a better idea of Mr. Davis’ rules of evidence: GOP membership equals extremism. Somehow, waterboarding seems a less lethal alternative to Mr. Davis’ method of treating ‘extremists’. Are those jackboots Mr. Davis will be using to grind our ‘scrawny necks’ into the dust of the reeducation camp? Will any of the targets of Mr. Davis’ hoped-for ‘domestic war’ even make it that far?

The members of the executive board of the Polk County, North Carolina Republican Party are appalled by the irresponsible rhetoric spewed by Mr. Davis and other members of the Democratic party. We call on the Democratic party of the 11th Congressional district and the Democratic party of North Carolina to condemn and disavow the rantings of Mr. Davis. The First Amendment protects speech and the peaceful assembly of citizens; it does not protect slanderous accusations or calls for violence against anyone. 

Timothy Koch

Polk County Republican Party