The stupid civil war of the anti-social, part 1: Jimmy Nelson's group won't disavow its guest of honor's coup advocacy. Will you?

In today's civil war, the anti-social attack the reasonable. They terrify Polk "power" into silence. So the reasonable must confront the anti-social ourselves - calmly, honestly, and without fear.

Update: If any elected or institutional or economic Polk leader is capable of saying this in public:

There should not be a coup. Joe Biden won the election. The election was not stolen from Donald Trump.

I will happily write about it. Feel free to email or text me.


County Citizens Defending Freedom (CCDF) is the group that made news with a performative anti-mask rage rally against imaginary enemies a few weeks ago.

(To be clear, it’s perfectly reasonable to question or seek to change COVID-19 related policies. As cases fall, it’s perfectly reasonable to think mask mandates are unnecessary next school year, especially for the vaccinated. I’m talking here about the CCDF’s carefully crafted, anti-social rage performance that used “masks” as an excuse to create personal intimidation both in person and on social media.)

Anyway, CCDF used the anti-mask moms and their kids to raise the political profile of the group and particularly its leader, a guy named Jimmy Nelson. Jimmy was recently chairman of the Lake Wales Charter School system; and I had a decent enough working relationship with him as Polk School Board member.

But now, he’s clearly angling to run for something on the Q platform. He’s angling to become Polk County’s leader of the anti-social in their stupid, national civil war against the reasonable and the idea of shared society.

“It should happen here.”

In that vein, CCDF recently invited disgraced former general, national security adviser, and convicted felon Michael Flynn to headline an event it hosted a couple weeks ago.

This has now become more significant because convicted felon Michael Flynn just days ago openly called for the US military to violently overthrow the elected government of the United States. He said the U.S. military should imitate the recent military coup in Myanmar, which killed hundreds of people. Here’s the video of Flynn’s statement:

Audience member says he wants to know why the Myanmar coup can’t happen here in America. Crowd cheers; Flynn anwers the “why” question: “No reason. I mean it should happen here.” More cheers.

My reading of military regulations says Flynn, as a retired officer, could be court-martialed and stripped of his pension for advocating a military coup. And that’s almost certainly why he’s now laughably pretending he didn’t say what he said. He’s clearly lying; but judge for yourself. Flynn has called for martial law and overturning the presidential election before, long before Jimmy Nelson and the CCDF hyped him.

Simple questions that Nelson/CCDF won’t answer

Because CCDF is trying to become a power player in Polk County government, I sent Jimmy Nelson some clarifying questions about his group’s position on military coups of the U.S. government and guest of honor Mike Flynn. Here are the questions, directly from the email I sent:

  • Do you personally support a coup of the duly elected American government? 

  • Does CCDF as group? 

  • If not, do you support a court-martial of Flynn, which military regulations call for. He has previously called for martial law and overturn of the election, as well.

  • Do you believe the election was stolen from Donald Trump? 

  • Do you believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected? 

  • Are you proud to have brought Flynn to Polk County (virtually).

  • Does CCDF want to continue its affiliation with him? 

These are all yes or no questions. No need to elaborate. They should be easy to answer. 

To be clear, I can answer these questions without hesitation publicly because I am a patriot and not a coward. Here are the answers I would give in Jimmy Nelson’s place: No, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, and No. That’s not hard. But Jimmy Nelson is not me.

Here’s how Jimmy Nelson actually responded:

Billy,

Good morning! So good to hear from you.

General Flynn is the epitome of American Patriotism and heroism, and is deserving of the gratitude and respect of every American citizen.

As to your other inquiries, I’ll not waste one moment of precious time addressing them.

Nelson leads an “organization” that says it wants to develop political power and influence in representative government. It does this, in part, by asking provocative questions of public officials in the hope of intimidating them.

So it’s quite snowflakey to refuse to answer simple questions about whether they want to see representative government destroyed, like their disgraced guest of honor.

Polk’s Ruling Class Club should answer these same questions publicly. But it won’t.

I don’t know new Lakeland City Commissioner Mike Musick at all. I didn’t take a public side in the recent city commission election runoff or pay too much attention prior to voting. (My preferred candidate lost in the primary.)

But I was told after the fact that Musick and his campaign manager James Ring of the Lakeland Chamber’s Business Voice went all-in on the performative anti-mask rage stirred up by Nelson’s group late in the run-off campaign. Maybe it made a difference in the close race; maybe it didn’t. I don’t know.

I know and like James Ring. He supported me in my own School Board race when very few “business” people would — although political support is no particular reason to admire or not admire someone. Political support is never a pre-requisite for anything with me.

More importantly, I genuinely think James’ heart is in the right place. I consider him a patriot. He played a constructive role in removing the Confederate monument in Munn Park. He’s also an officer in U.S. Army reserve.

I’m told by attendees that James declared at a recent Lakeland Chamber event that electing Musick was the most important accomplishment of the Chamber’s Business Voice PAC, of which he is a member. Fine.

With all that in mind, I had hoped James would answer the same questions I asked Jimmy Nelson — at least the parts about the coup and the election. He didn’t; but he did distance himself and Musick from CCDF and Jimmy Nelson. This is helpful clarification:

I’ve never met Jimmy Nelson and could not identify him if we were standing in the same room together. I’ve heard his name before in Republican circles, but haven’t actually met him. During Mike’s race, his campaign received support from a Facebook group “No more mask mandates for children.” Individual mask choice has always been a position Mike has held and he was happy to receive their support. Additionally, I’m not a member of the CCDF, have never been to one of their meetings and cannot comment on their beliefs or positions. Hope that helps!

But even James can’t seem to say:

There should not be a coup. Joe Biden won the election. The election was not stolen from Donald Trump.

Indeed, no Republican in power in Polk County’s Ruling Class Club seems capable of saying those simple words in public. Not one. None. The closest anybody came was Grady Judd when he had to arrest one of his deputies for threatening the public and cheering on the insurrection. He still can’t bring himself to tell his people “the election was not stolen from Donald Trump.”

And it’s interesting that our performative political sheriff will arrest one of his own deputies for seditious private threats but will stay quiet as a church mouse in public about public coup supporter Mike Flynn’s relationship with his public political and cultural allies.

I have no idea what Jimmy Nelson actually believes beyond his self-promotion and personal admiration for convicted felon coup-advocate Mike Flynn. Maybe he wants violence against the representative government choices of his neighbors; maybe he doesn’t. Maybe it’s all a shameful act. All I can do is take Jimmy at his words at a time when the clearly and convincingly beaten former president, who has already incited one Capitol lynch mob, is actively talking about “reinstatement” to the presidency this summer.

It would be easy to dismiss Trump as a bitter batty anti-social grandpa raging at the TV if Republicans all over weren’t cheering an openly corrupt “audit” of already audited elections in Arizona — and giving themselves power to overturn elections in swing states. In public, literally every active Republican I know is squarely on the side of the anti-social in our new American civil war — either through active backing or silence. Even Mike Pence, who was going to be hung by his own party’s anti-social mob militia, can’t break with them.

It’s why Jimmy Nelson thinks it’s a good political and social bet to publicly praise and welcome to Polk County a coup-advocating military officer allied to the insurrection president as “the epitome of American Patriotism and heroism.”

I disagree strongly with Jimmy’s definition of patriotism. Here’s one reason why:

August 12, 1969

My dad is a combat wounded Vietnam veteran, who was very nearly killed before he married my mother. Here’s the telegram the army sent to my grandparents laying out how close I came to not existing.

Dad was also wounded in the chest and has shrapnel in his body to this day. An extraordinarily competent new lieutenant saved his life (and mine and so on) as he lay stunned and bleeding and vulnerable to approaching soldiers at the ambush site.

My dad survived; and he never called for coups of governments and presidents he didn’t like. He never pretended to believe an election was stolen. (Yes, you’re all pretending. I don’t believe you for a second. You don’t think someone stole the election. You just don’t want to share power or society. Be honest for once.) And he’s not a convicted felon.

My dad taught me half of what I know about patriotism and honor and moral courage. After Vietnam, he never cowered in the face of the anti-social or the self-interested or the abusers of power in his community. If you don’t like me, blame him — and my mom, of course. She taught me the other half of what I know about patriotism, honor, and moral courage. If I’ve ever failed in any of that, it’s not because of my parents.

I consider them, not the CCDF’s convicted felon coup advocate, “the epitome of American Patriotism and heroism.”

By contrast, the anti-socials of the new American Civil War — the Mike Flynns and Jimmy Nelsons — of the world see my patriotism and my parents and people who think and behave and act like like us as enemies of their rank self-indulgence. We’re the enemy in their anti-social civil war.

Good.

This is a very good moment in American history to be defined as an enemy by the Jimmy Nelsons and Mike Flynns of the world — people who hate their country and countrymen so much they’d rather destroy its duly elected government than share power. I’m quite happy for performative snowflakes to consider me — or the idea of me — an enemy. God forbid they consider me an ally in eliminating my right and yours to elected representation.

I’m always open to peace and interaction; but I’m not open to bullshit. I’m not open to indulging the murderous coup fantasies of entitled people who piss all over my dad’s purple heart and pretend to believe he and my mom and the clear majority of America stole something from them with our votes.

What it means “to Townsend”

During the mask rage rally I mentioned before, someone held up a sign declaring they would “Townsend” anyone who disagreed with them. And that led to some amusing speculation about what “to Townsend” means as a verb.

I hope the previous passage shows a little of what the verb “to Townsend” means to me as an inheritor of the name.

But perhaps, more than anything in this community today, “to Townsend” means “to ask simple, direct questions of power in public that power and wannabe power is far too afraid to answer openly.”

I Townsended Jimmy Nelson and James Ring; and they both ducked my questions, like Grady Judd before them. (More on that in part 2)

Indeed, I would have far more respect for Jimmy Nelson if he actually said: Yes, there should be a coup; No, Joe Biden didn’t win; Yes, the election was stolen from Trump. Hell, I’d have more respect for Flynn if he didn’t try to weasel lie himself out of casually betraying whatever oath he once took to the constitution. If you want a coup, Flynn, roll the dice and take the consequences.

It’s impossible to know how much of Ruling Class Club actually agrees with Flynn and fantasizes about a coup that eliminates people like my family. I suspect most just marinate in shame and cowardice and self-interest every day, afraid they might lose an election or a dinner invitation. Either way, it’s pretty hard to respect — or fear — that silence.

If the Q storm ever comes, it’ll be feral dudes with Proud Boy beards and personal arsenals shooting up the houses of the reasonable and the unarmed. That’s the violent endgame — if one ever comes — of this stupid civil war of the anti-social. We’ll see if Sheriff Judd or the military bothers to stop them. (Outside of the named Civil War, pogrom violence is always how the eternal and unnamed American civil war has gone down. Ask Tulsa and Ocoee, et. al. It’s why Republican power is afraid to let you learn it.)

The vast vast majority of Polk’s Ruling Class Club would be very very quiet in the face of that Q storm carnage; but they’re not going to bring “the storm” themselves. They don’t have it in them; but neither do they have it in them to publicly tell a simple truth about the last American presidential election to try to dampen the anti-social insurrectionists among us.

So much leadership.

Polk power is quite capable of fighting an effective civil war — against a safe and civil enemy

The irony of this whole thing is Ruling Class Club has shown quite recently how successfully it can mobilize against a perceived civic and political enemy. It did so quite effectively, publicly, angrily against me. This mobilization remains flattering to me, if pretty damning for them, given current reality.

So it’s striking how terrified — or sympathetic — Ruling Class Club and its wannabes are now of Jimmy Nelson and Flynn-ism and the ragers. I mean, Ruling Class Club got mad at me and organized around its anger mostly because I didn’t tell them how awesome they are every day. CCDF is trying to build disruptive local power movements with convicted felon coup-advocates and open menace for everybody not with them.

I suspect the real difference is this: Ruling Class Club always knew the worst thing I would ever do to them is write about them honestly, just like I am now.

I don’t violently threaten my neighbors over politics or try to overturn their votes. I practice actual civics and submit willingly to all legal outcomes — or openly accept the consequences for rejecting them. I work collaboratively and assertively within the flawed American system of government. I don’t cry about what a victim I am and how biased the media is and how I must be protected against learning anything that might damage my white dude snowflake sensibility. I answer questions publicly; I don’t weasel; and I’m not a convicted felon coup-advocate.

Even the most pathological Billy-haters know all of this. They all know I’m a very safe war to fight. I’ve never berated deputies and forced adjournment of a School Board meeting with my menace like one of the CCDF’s fellow freedom travelers did last month.

The dominant insurrection arm of the Republican Party presents a much more dangerous war for Ruling Class Club if it ever chooses to fight — physically and socially and politically and professionally. It might actually come with some real consequences. Ruling Class Club does not do consequences.

Grady Judd could likely win a civil war with Polk County insurrectionism single-handedly by devoting the same uniformed, public focus on local coup-advocacy as he has to making it easier for CCDFers to run down “woke” kid protestors in the street. But those “God, guns, and Grady” tee-shirts do not sell themselves; and the insurrection-curious buy a lot of them.

In part 2, we’ll take a closer look at the Battle of the School Board chambers, in which the reasonable managed to defeat the anti-social in the type of silly skirmish that is going to define our brain dead (and hopefully abstract) civil war of the years to come. Masks will be forgotten in weeks; but there will be a next rage thing. And a next. And a next.

I’ll show you why that recent meeting was a small win for the reasonable — which we won without Ruling Class Club’s help, at least in public. It was a win because the reasonable kept their heads without surrendering ground. We revealed that the forces of CCDF and performative insurrectionism are a much greater disruption and threat, obviously, to public order and safety and Grady Judd’s deputies than law-abiding “lib” patriots like me (who isn’t even a lib) and who aren’t a threat at all.

If Ruling Class Club won’t mobilize and help control Polk’s insurrectionism — and it won’t — the rest of us have to keep our heads and make it brutally clear who is a threat to public safety and order by forcing these folks to reveal it over and over again.