Carl Thomas of Stony Creek upset several readers recently by writing a letter to the editor, advocating that President Trump declare martial law and bring up "all the conspirators" on charges. Earlier in the letter, he named the "leadership of the insurrection" as "Obama, Clinton, Clapper, Brennan, Susan Rice, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, and Obama's other DOJ heirarchy."
He called Rod Rosenstein (a Trump appointee) "the most deceitful."
I called Thomas, who up until last year was on the Stony Creek Town Board, but who retired, he said, because he is in his 80s and has had some health issues.
"My recall's not everything it should be," he said.
Thomas sounded like a nice man, although he voiced some extreme views, like the following:
"I see the Democratic Party trying to incite violence. Maxine Waters is the best one to illustrate that."
"If Clinton had been elected, our democracy would have been gone. We would have had a socialist state."
"What I saw during the Obama administration was the tearing down of the U.S. ... by inciting the black community to rebellion. He was against the police."
Thomas said he watches a lot of Fox News and gets his information from there. His letter ends with this memorable paragraph:
"Martial law is not a joke, and neither is insurrection. This is a serious attempt to overthrow the government of the United States. Trump is not the problem! This battle must be fought! Declare martial law now!"
I don't know how to take someone like Mr. Thomas. He and I had a respectful conversation.
But here he is, calling for troops in the street and the arrest of the president's political enemies. He wants the destruction of our democracy.
Views like Thomas' cannot be dismissed or humored as easily as they could have been a few years ago. We are in a dangerous time, when our president attacks and undermines the institutions of our government and our society — the criminal justice system and the free press.
Today, for example, Trump floated the idea of issuing an executive order revoking U.S. citizenship for people born in this country to parents who are not citizens. This directly contradicts the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment, the first sentence of which reads as follows:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
One of the worst parts of what is happening now in the U.S. is the way some powerful media outlets, led by Fox News, abet Trump's attacks on our laws and institutions with a daily stream of rage and misinformation.
"I'm not a radical," Thomas said, and I believe at one time he wasn't one.
But he and millions of others have been radicalized by Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, who come into their houses every day and fill them up with fear.
Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at email@example.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at