MADISON — Expanding their violent political playbook, liberals have started doxing conservatives who don’t support Gov. Tony Evers’ constitutionally suspect state lockdown orders.
Perhaps not surprisingly, their hateful efforts are brimming with ignorance.
Well-known Wisconsin conservative grassroots leader Matt Batzel posted photos on his Facebook page praising a rally in Brookfield last weekend opposing Evers’ extended Safer at Home edict. His page quickly exploded with left-wing rage.
Beyond the usual filthy name-calling and the silly claims of racism and Nazism, the “progressive” wits incorrectly accused Batzel of organizing the rally. Their Fake News claims are part of the faulty assertion pushed by liberal news outlets that local protest movements against government shelter-at-home orders are being led and fed by a handful of right-wing organizations.
Batzel, executive director of American Majority, a national nonprofit organization that trains conservative activists and political candidates, is no stranger to sparring with leftists. And he’s seen plenty of liberal lies and bad behavior over his years in politics.
But the vitriol and bile that greeted him on his social network account crossed the line into harassment and threats of violence, Batzel said.
“I am able to work from home, but if I had to travel for my job and leave my wife and five kids here, that would be very concerning,” he said.
The threats began after someone named Kay Spaude jumped online and accused Batzel of organizing the Brookfield protest. Kathleen McIlraith chimed in that she hopes if Batzel “has a job, he’s fired. And NO ONE hires him.”
Nick Iannone advised her to contact the Harris Policy Center at the University of Chicago, where Batzel is a lecturer for a political science course, to “get him fired.” Apparently, some fulfilled that threat. Batzel said the university received calls demanding he be removed from his part-time position.
They also threatened to go after his law license, asserting they would contact law regulators to try to get him disbarred.
Then the online mob turned decidedly violent.
“He’s got that face you want to punch,” someone wrote.
“Now we need his home address so he can be barricaded in,” Bill Brink commented.
Matthew Voit, apparently equal parts cowardly and grammatically impaired, wrote, “Somebody go get em. He protesting like a idiot.”
Keith Thompson mused, “Wouldn’t it be awful if the wrong people learned” that Batzel lived at an address in West Salem? Thompson noted the address. He was wrong on all counts. He had the wrong Matt Batzel, and the location was off by about 200 miles. That didn’t stop the liberal rage.
“Anyone want to waste a bullet. Target leg wound,” Deb Nelson wrote to the online mob.
Batzel said he called the police. They told him to block his violent “friends” on Facebook and call back if things escalate. Facebook, too, did nothing, despite the fact that its policies clearly don’t allow “Targeting someone with threats.”
Batzel, who has dedicated much of his life to conservative grassroots causes, worries that some will see what he has gone though and back away from the peaceful fight for liberty.
“We cannot be silenced. We cannot stand by and let the other side win by intimidation tactics. We have to continue to speak out,” he said. “Our rights are being eroded and attacked. We have to speak out. We can’t lose our freedom because we sat by idly or were threatened.”