Is this supposed to be funny?

In doing a little election season research, I came across the Cascade County Republican Party’s latest newsletter, called “Target.”

Pretty typical party-line election season stuff for the most part. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

But then I got to page three of the Target and read this “joke”:

Texas Sheriff ’s Exam

A man in Texas looking to join the Frio County Sheriffs Dept. was being interviewed.

The Sergeant doing the interview says, “Your qualifications look good, but there’s an attitude suitability test you must pass before you can be ac-cepted.”

Then, sliding a Smith and Wesson 45 pistol across the desk, he says to the man, “Take this pistol; go out and shoot six illegal aliens, six meth dealers, six Muslim extremists, six ‘Progressive Liberal’ democrats, and a rabbit.”

“Why the rabbit?” the man asked.

“That’s the attitude we’re looking for.” said the Sergeant, “When can you start?”

I don’t know about you, but I guess I just don’t find this funny.

Not even a little bit.

Joking about Matthew Shepard’s murder isn’t funny either.

Nor is joking about the President of the United State’s giving America a “reach around.” 

Joking about killing people, whether they be “illegal aliens,” “Muslim extremists” or “Progressive Liberal Democrats,” is just not funny.

The dehumanization of any person or group is not funny. Especially when people are actually getting killed.

Bullying—which  lead to the recent suicide of a Rutgers University student—is not funny.

Given that we’re in an election season and Republicans repeatedly attack their Democratic opponents as “out of touch liberals,” I don’t think it’s a stretch to see this “joke” as a form of intimidation.

Might a “progressive liberal Democrat” be intimidated out of exercising her first amendment rights at a political forum out of fear that she might one day be a “target?”

Might a Great Falls citizen whose family migrated to the U.S. from a country south of the border read this and wonder about the safety of his family?

Who knows?

But I think it’s sad that in this day and age there are people out there, leaders of a political parties no less, who find humor in the dehumanization of people they don’t like. What happened to working together to forge a brighter future for our nation?

This kind of thing isn’t helping.