We felt assaulted by the number of signs. The idea of "cleansing" our streets seemed like the fastest way to restore balance and alleviate our election stress — at least, that night it did.That is premeditated, lady. You discussed it in a group, and you had to get in the car — I call bullshit on "jumped" — and drive to another location, and you engaged in an activity that took 20 minutes.
The escapade was not premeditated: We simply jumped into my Jetta wagon, drove down to the strip and got to work. In all, it took less than 20 minutes.
We grabbed about 40 signs and threw them in the hatchback. I hadn’t really thought about what I would do with the signs; I just wanted them gone. At the time, we believed we were doing the right thing. There were so many Trump signs up and down our main drag — it was destroying all sense of equilibrium in our community.Equilibrium!
Anyway, they got caught by the police. Is that any surprise? They were doing something that took 20 minutes!
The officer was kind, informing us that we had stolen someone else’s personal property, which had not really entered into my mind while I was doing it.How could it not enter your mind that the signs belonged to someone else? She describes her mind as the mind of an insane person: Someone else's speech was assaulting her mind and destroying all sense of equilibrium, as if she had to protect the inside of her own head where she never dreamed anyone else could own property. But it wasn't really only in her own head, as the policeman kindly informed her.
Reflecting back, I realize that I momentarily snapped.Temporary insanity. For 20+ minutes.
But there was a deeper reason for my anger than just the signs.Yes, your anger is deep... in a way that makes it moral, flips it into the good:
Over the past several weeks, grasping the depth of Trump’s predatory behavior toward women throughout his adult life (and even worse, his denial of it) has simply become unbearable. I became unhinged.She's running with this I-was-literally-crazy argument. But Trump is worse, because he assaulted women. As if she were protecting women by stealing signs. Stothart proceeds to tell her personal story of "a powerful man using his position of wealth and influence to demean my integrity and put my job at risk."
[O]ne day, he called to proposition me to enter an illicit “relationship” with him where he would fly me around the world to exclusive resorts. For sex.So a man at work asked you out? How is that like the stories of Trump and sexual assault? He didn't impose himself any more than asking her out — on a huge date, to be sure (who gets asked on dates of that magnitude?) — he took her statement that she "needed 'to think about it'" as a basis to withdraw the offer.
“You’re not the marrying type of woman,” he told me. “I never see you having a family of your own, so I have an offer for you.” He described how good he was in bed. I wouldn’t regret it, he said. It would be “our little secret” and “worth my while.”
I should have told him to go to hell. Instead, I told my boyfriend (now husband) about it and buried the secret. I was silenced, until now.Why would someone who refused a sexual invitation feel she had a "secret" that needed to be told? If she really believed this rich and powerful person has a modus operandi that unfairly burdens women in the workplace, she should have spoken up for the sake of the other women. How was she "silenced"? She's raising this story now to bolster her claim of some sort of a temporary insanity defense to a crime that she plainly admits she committed — a crime not only against property but against another citizen's freedom of speech. She's trying to flip herself up onto the moral high ground.
She has a "source of my rage" she says, and: "It’s why I committed a crime. Yes, I was acting out... But at the time, my act felt strangely liberating..." It's like the generic formula for a fictional criminal character. Something long ago made him very angry, and when he finally burst free into outright transgression, he felt, at long last, liberated. That works in murder stories. That would work for terrorists. In fiction.
Stothart also takes refuge in the time-honored I'm-not-the-only-one defense, discovered by every child that ever got caught red-handed:
As I prepare for a mid-December appearance before a judge in the Cumberland County Courthouse, I am realizing that I’m not the only one going to extremes this fall. There have been Trump sign thefts in Maine and Massachusetts. Trump supporters’ cars were actually vandalized recently in Bangor. Violence at campaign events is now commonplace, and worse, a bomb went off in a North Carolina Republican Party office. The level of agitation — and fear — is rising daily, on both sides.But, like a good, old-fashioned, square Hollywood movie, this story ends with a crime-does-not-pay message: "It’s not worth it."
But would it have been worth it if she hadn't been caught? And will it become worth it if the Cumberland County judge looks at this nice lady — who had a bad day and expressed herself so feelingly in a high-tone newspaper — and that judge says: Good thing you learned what you did was wrong, and now, don't do that again?