Montana Republican Says Constitution Calls For Socialists To Be Shot

Montana Republican legislator Rodney Garcia asserted this week that the U.S. Constitution calls for socialists to be jailed or shot. According to the Billings Gazette, the State rep was speaking at a party gathering in Helena, Montana when he made the unprompted and inaccurate claim.

Garcia said that he is worried that socialists are “entering our government” and that there are socialists “everywhere” in the Montana town.

At that point, he claimed that the Constitution makes it legal to jail or shoot socialists.

A reporter from the Billings Gazette approached and asked Garcia to clarify his comments shortly after the meeting, and the Republican doubled down on his statement.

“So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot,” Garcia said.

The Constitution doesn’t appear to say this, and when the reporter pushed Garcia to point out where it makes this statement, he wasn’t able to.

The reporter then asked Garcia if he felt that it was acceptable to shoot a socialist even if they lived in Montana.

“They’re enemies of the free state,” Garcia responded. “What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do?”

“I agree with my Constitution,” Garcia added. “That’s what makes us free. We’re not a democracy, we’re a Republic Constitution.”

Garcia went on to say that the local schools are teaching socialism to children and supported his claim that socialists are flooding Montana because he has seen advertising from socialist organizations on Facebook.

Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke also appeared at the event, which is aimed at kicking off the election year and giving tips and training to GOP members.

“You know, Montana’s a great state,” Zinke responded to Garcia’s comments.

“We have to do something,” Garcia responded.

Garcia’s Democratic opponent in the 2018 race, Amelia Marquez, called Garcia’s statements “somewhat ludicrous” and said that he should be focusing on talking to his constituents and making life better for Montanans.

Garcia’s comments somewhat echo those of other Republican politicians. Donald Trump has accused Democrats running in the 2020 election of being socialists in an attempt to use the term socialism in a negative and derogatory way. None of the candidates running in the race call themselves socialists, and all but Bernie Sanders have denied the label. The Vermont senator calls himself a Democratic socialist.

Socialists advocate for distributing the means of production and distribution within a government to facilitate a more equitable system.

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