There are plenty of things you shouldn’t post on Facebook. This, for example. Or this. One thing you most certainly shouldn’t post on Facebook, though, something even the well-intentioned folks above surely know, is a manifesto calling for the assassination of the President of the United States. Probably shouldn't do that. And yet, sadly, here we are. The Christian American Patriots Militia, which is either an armed paramilitary organization or a Facebook group, posted a creed earlier this week proclaiming that it has the authority to assassinate the “dictator” President Obama, who is guilty of “levying war on the United States and aiding and comforting our foreign enemies.”
“We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., kill him,” wrote the group’s administrator, Everest Wilhelmsen, just one day before the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. “His willful violations and alienation of our Constitution, constant disregard for our peaceful protests, and corruption of all three branches of government (i.e., rogue and illegitimate government) reveal the dictator that he is.”
If Obama is indeed a dictator, he either doesn’t know it yet — in which case someone should tell him, so he can sign universal background checks, climate change legislation, and immigration reform into law ASAP — or he’s simply been sitting on these powers for the past five years, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to leap from his chair, rip the Constitution to shreds and proclaim himself King For Life.
Disturbingly, a good amount of Republicans actually believe that Obama wants to do something like this, but most are smart enough not to react to their childish paranoia by making death threats on Facebook. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Secret Service is aware of Wilhelmsen’s antics, but won’t comment on whether they’re actually investigating him. The man’s Twitter and Wordpress pages depict him as a garden-variety conspiracy theorist, one with unshakeable reverence for the Constitution but little understand of what it actually says or means, so we wouldn’t blame the Secret Service if they yawned at Wilhelmsen’s antics and moved on.
Still, calling for the president to be shot on Facebook is a great way to get yourself thrown in jail. You’d think Wilhelmsen, a man very much fixated on executive overreach, would realize this, and perhaps be more careful in trying to start the revolution.