For Immediate Release
On Jan. 31, Montana State Rep. Rodney Garcia sparked outrage by claiming at a public forum that the United States Constitution calls for all socialists to be jailed or shot. Whether Garcia knew this was a lie or not, it is un-American to silence political opponents, especially forcibly. Montana would be better off without him in public office, and he must resign.
The Constitution actually says the exact opposite of Garcia’s claim and goes to great lengths to enshrine the right to free speech and ensure that our government does not have the authority to silence or punish political rivals.
It is imperative that we guard against attempts to weaponize government power against political opponents, especially during fractured times like we have today. That’s why New Tolerance Campaign (NTC) is mobilizing Americans from every political background to take a stand.
When given a chance to clarify his statements, Garcia doubled down, telling the Billings Gazette that “[socialists] are enemies of the free state. What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do? … according to the Constitution, I’m telling you.”
On Feb 3, the leadership of the Montana Republican party called on him to resign, addressing him directly by saying that “your actions have irreparably undermined the body in which you serve and irrevocably broken the trust of those you were elected to represent.” They are absolutely right.
Garcia has the right to express disagreement with socialism, but it is never okay for an elected official to call for government violence against fellow citizens because of their political views. This is an insidious form of intolerance that has historically led to brutal atrocities time and time again.
NTC is providing activists with an opportunity to tell Garcia directly that he must go with just a few clicks. We are also collecting email-senders’ political affiliation, if they are willing to share it, in order to demonstrate that people of all political backgrounds oppose his remarks. All emails will be sent directly to Garcia immediately, and in addition, we will mail a list of all signers and a copy of the Constitution to Garcia. It is our hope that he will actually read the Constitution he claims to abide by and amend his ways accordingly.