Our Democracy is Killing It’self. When Elected officials Can’t go to Work.

There is no excuse for an elected official to not to be able to meet with constitutes, hold public meetings or travel around the country. Yet Rep. Maxine Waters of California just reported Thursday, June 28, 2018, “threatening messages” and “hostile mail” at her office, including “one very serious death threat” from an individual in Texas. And there has been an overall increase in threats since she made some “controversial” comments last week.  As a result, Rep. Waters canceled two scheduled appearances in Alabama and Texas for this weekend.  

The United States Capitol Police are investigating and I’m sure the Office of the Sergeant in Arms will take notice as will the FBI.  But “we the people suffer” because our elected officials can’t work on our behalf, in part because they are also part of the problem for failing to take all threats seriously and for ignoring the need for close protection.

Rep Waters says “she receives death threats all the time” and in April 2018 Anthony Scott Lloyd, from San Pedro California pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Rep. Waters over her opposition to President Donald Trump.  Mr. Lloyd made the threat during a phone call to Waters’ Capitol Hill office after listening to talk radio and hearing a report Rep Waters made disparaging comments about Pres Trump. “If you continue to make threats toward the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine, ’cause we’ll kill you,” He also uses a racial and anti-gay slur in the message.

Considering the divisive nature of politics today, the history of violent attacks against members of Congress from both parties, and the drumbeat of the far left and far right alternative media calling for everything from revolution to violence against elected officials, did the Congresswoman think her comments were not going to generate some type as reaction from the crazies on the right?

“I don’t cry about protests,” Rep Waters said earlier this week. “People protest me all the time”, “People come to my district office”, “That’s their right”, “The only time I have anything to say about protests is when they threaten to kill me, then I turn that in, otherwise, protests is the American way.”

No Congresswoman, threats are not the American way, not threats in 2018 under the present conditions we find in our political discord and today’s society. And canceling your schedule just highlights how dangerous things have become, how you have failed in your security arrangements and by extension failed us the voters. 

It’s time for full funding of close protection and security services for members of Congress when they return to their districts or when traveling. Its time members of Congress understand this isn’t the time of Mr. Smith goes to Washington; this is the days of members of Congress getting shot playing softball.

Here at ISA we have trained law enforcement assigned to provide security to members of Congress in their home districts, and we will continue to do so. Our next program is in August 2018, located in Troy North Carolina on the campus of Montgomery Community College. If your department or agency is providing close protection to members of Congress, the mayor, county representatives or other elected officials we can help prepare your officers, deputies or agents for this role.

Unfortunately, most local law enforcement is not trained, equipped or funded for this role, and private security, in general, is in no better position.  Again, ISA will help, by providing direct services to the elected official or training to their “hometown” law enforcement or private security agency. 

Companies like ISA and a limited few others have the experience, and resources for this type of work and Rep. Waters would be able to travel to Texas and Alabama if the funding and authority were approved by Congress. But as critical the funding is, members of Congress need to be willing to use it to provide for their security and the security of their staff and families

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