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David Boze: ‘Tolerant’ Seattleites bully Christopher Rufo out of council race

Christopher Rufo said that he has had to drop out of the race against Councilmember Mike O'Brien due to threats against his family. (AP)

One of the interesting thing about the upcoming Seattle City Council race in 2019 is that there are already a number of candidates promising to challenge the status quo.

Seattle City Council members have been focused on making a national presence for themselves instead of actually governing the city and focusing on what the city needs. You’ve got tent cities decorating what was once the Emerald City. You’ve got people who haven’t been to Seattle for awhile commenting on how unpleasant it is, how violent it is, how aggressive it is, and how ugly it is.

So we’ve got a new crop of candidates saying that this is a failure of government, and promising to give people an alternative to the socialist viewpoints and programs of Seattle politicians.

RELATED: Petition writers want Mike O’Brien to rethink policies

Enter Christopher Rufo, who steps up to the plate and plans to challenge Mike O’Brien. Now let’s face it — the odds are long. Obviously the incumbent is going to have the advantage. Ideology in political campaigns matters because it energizes a base, so O’Brien has an excited base there. Rufo is a young documentary filmmaker who speaks out against the ideological divide. He says that he wants to take good ideas wherever they come from and wants to focus on solutions to the homeless crisis. All of that seems perfectly reasonable, right? He wants to give people options.

 

Here’s the problem with wanting to stop the ideological divide in Seattle — anybody who gives a hint of being tolerant toward a conservative base is instantly frowned upon in some circles in this city. In fact, when Rufo first made the announcement that he was running, someone on Facebook commented that he seemed like a nice guy, but had been at an event in town thrown by a conservative group, which automatically made him suspicious. Does attendance at a conservative event now disqualify you? What if you attended an event of a conservative you disagreed with just to hear what they had to say?

But anyway, Christopher Rufo said that he wanted a new way of doing business, a new method — and now he’s already out. On Wednesday, he sent an email out to members of his campaign saying that he’s got to leave. It’s not because he wants to leave; it’s because of the “tolerant” atmosphere in Seattle.

I had hoped that this would be a campaign of ideas, but I quickly discovered that the activists in this city have no interest in ideas. Since the campaign launch, they have harassed and threatened my family nonstop. I was prepared to take the heat, but unfortunately, they have focused their hatred on my wife and children. They’ve made vile racist attacks against my wife, attempted to get her fired from Microsoft, and threatened sexual violence. They have even posted hateful messages to my 8-year-old son’s school Facebook page. I know that as the race progresses, the activists will ratchet up their hate-machine and these attacks will intensify significantly.”

Basically, the activists have won. The worst elements of Seattle — those who want to bully and oppress anyone who disagrees with them — win by making sure that people will not have actual choices in the campaign.

I hope that each one of these threats was reported to police, that police will follow up, and that they will prosecute the perpetrators. However, I don’t have a lot of hope for that because this happened to me personally. After I introduced a well-known conservative figure at an event — a person I had never met before in my life, by the way — I received an email from someone telling me my home address, what time I’m away from work, who is at home alone during that time. Obviously, it was a threat to my family and very creepy. I filed a police report, but never heard anything more about it.

The city that prides itself on tolerance now has people fleeing the political circle because of threats of sexual violence. And by the way, this is not Trump supporters — 93 percent of Seattle voted against Trump. This is Seattle leftists threatening this guy and his family members.

What are the council members going to do about it? O’Brien should be the loudest voice condemning this and calling for a fair debate (which would be a reflection of better character for him). What are they going to do about the fact that people cannot even feel safe challenging the status quo in Seattle just to have a debate about ideas? And what kind of city do you want to be if people cannot feel safe offering people that choice of ideas?

It’s a dangerous road we’re on. This cannot stand if Seattle expects to be a free city.

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