December 8, 2015; National Journal

There is a reality show type tacit agreement to some of the ways in which politicians are conducting themselves in these tense times: the more irresponsible, inflammatory and ridiculous one gets, the more air time is given. How about some consequences? Violent hate speech from political “leaders” is unacceptable.

This week’s front-runner in the race to the bottom in terms of moral political leadership is Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), who now says she certainly did not mean to imply she would actually see Syrian refugees shot when she said precisely that on her own radio show on KDWN.

Well, you judge the statement, apparently meant to be folksy, for yourself.

He’s like, “the Syrian refugees.” I’m like, what, are you kidding me? I’m about to fly to Paris and shoot ’em in the head myself! I mean, I am not OK with Syrian refugees. I am not OK with terrorists. I’m OK with putting them down. Blacken them out. Just put a piece of brass in their ocular cavity and end their miserable life. I’m good with that.

The statement, which she made on air on November 21st, went largely unmentioned until the councilwoman sent out a bizarre Christmas card of her fully armed family, inclusive of a pistol-packing five-year-old.

A petition calling for her resignation has been started on by Hannah Etchison, a Nevadan. “Nevadans are seeking for the resignation of Michele Fiore,” the petition states. “Her recent comments regarding the slaughtering of Syrian Refugees is hate speech and she should not be an Assembly Woman in our state. […] Nevada is embarrassed by her continued, hateful, racist and downright evil remarks.”

Fiore’s behavior leaves us nearly speechless…but not quite, because if there is any kind of behavior that can be seen as putting residents of the U.S. most at risk, it would be this kind of provocative and threatening hate speech aimed at people based on their country of origin.—Ruth McCambridge