The future of our increasingly polarized American political landscape may be foretold by a disturbing recent incident in Fort Collins, Colorado, as recounted in The Fort Collins Coloradoan.
Rebecca Cranston, a Democrat running for Colorado State Senate, had just pulled into her driveway last week and was sitting in her truck finishing a phone conversation when she suddenly heard a loud noise. Realizing that something had hit her truck, Cranston at first thought that a rock had hit it.
“It didn’t occur to me that it would be a gunshot at first, until we saw the bullet hole,” she told the paper this week.
While the candidate does not accuse her Republican opponent in the State Senate race of being involved in the shooting, she’s not so sure about his supporters. She says that since she entered the race she’s been subject to a pattern of harassment that includes staking out her house and an attempt to drive her off the road earlier in the summer. Cranston told The Coloradoan that her mail — including campaign donation checks — was also stolen around that time.
“I don’t really feel safe here, frankly,” she told the paper.
Cranston reported the shooting to the local sheriff’s office which found a bullet and took it in for testing, They are investigating whether the incident could be related other shootings that have taken place in the area recently.
Her opponent’s campaign denies any involvement in the shooting, although it admits sending some to photograph Cranston’s home, ostensibly for the purpose of settling a question regarding the candidate’s residence in the district in which she is running.
Nevertheless, with political divisions inflamed by a president incapable of bringing the American people together for a common good, we may be seeing more of this type of violence in campaigns across the country as deluded partisans set aside the tenets of democracy and decide to take the law into their own hands while trying to deny the rights of others to determine electoral outcomes.
Original reporting by Nick Coltrain and Saja Hindi in The Fort Collins Coloradoan.
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