Sabattus man gets firm rebuke for racist threat

Death threats of any kind should be taken seriously, whether they are against the president of the United States or the neighbor next door.

Such statements assume a particularly sinister character when accompanied by an obviously racist slur.

That's what happened Tuesday when a Sabattus resident pronounced "Shoot the Ni----" on his Facebook page atop a photo of President Barack Obama.

By mid-afternoon, David Marsters had been interviewed by the Secret Service, which then searched his home and talked to his wife and neighbors.

Within hours, Marsters' statement had been decisively denounced by Sabattus Town Manager Andrew Gilmore.

"I need to clearly state that I am deeply concerned, appalled and, frankly, dumbfounded as to why he or anyone would declare such a thing, let alone print it for the world to see," Gilmore said.

"In three words, this statement incites violence to the level of murder, advocates for the assassination of a United States president and uses what is likely the most deplorable racial slur in American history."

Well said, particularly on the day marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech.

Marsters is seeking signatures to qualify for the position of Sabattus selectman on the November ballot and he already holds several committee assignments within local government.

He admitted he made the statement in a Sun Journal interview, said it was a mistake and apologized, but then repeated the original slur several more times before the interview was finished.

This episode clearly shows he is unfit for any public office and deserves the public censure he has received.

Marsters complained

of losing health benefits

In a related matter, Marsters, who is a veteran and retired police officer, said he was angry at Obama for an element in the Affordable Care Act he thought would affect his military health benefits.

Since Tricare recipients are already insured, the Affordable Care Act will have no impact on their benefits, according to several military benefits websites.

There is debate about how Tricare, the military's health care program, should be extended to the adult children of current service members, as it has been under the ACA, but Marsters was concerned about his wife's coverage.

Cutting Tricare benefits was proposed as part of a "grand bargain" last year between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in order to make significant reductions in the nation's budget deficits.

But so were cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, although cuts have always been proposed in terms that exempted current retirees like Marsters.

But his reaction to the idea of losing a government entitlement signals why Congress is afraid to tackle the growing problem of federal budget deficits.

As we have seen with the current sequester cuts, spending on government benefits for the elderly and retired are already crowding out normal government functions.

Most retirees feel as strongly as Marsters that they have earned their Social Security benefits during their working years and deserve promised benefits when they retire.

While Social Security was a great bargain for retirees of earlier generations, the average worker retiring today will receive less than they paid into the Social Security system in retirement.

While most rational people will not threaten to kill public officials for cutting their benefits, politicians who do cut benefits know they will face the wrath of millions of people who have based their retirements on promises made a generation ago.

rrhoades@sunjournal.com

The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.

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Comments

Jason Theriault's picture

I love that argument

"Most retirees feel as strongly as Marsters that they have earned their Social Security benefits during their working years and deserve promised benefits when they retire."

I love that argument. Because the politicians these retirees elected blew their retirement, and to make good on that promise, they are going to force my and future generation to pay for it.

Nice job.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You don't vote or your

You don't vote or your candidates never get elected, is that it?

ERNEST LABBE's picture

Well Jason

Well Jason the fact is that us old folks put 7.5% of our earnings matched by the same amount paid into the system by our employers. Had that amount been put into a private savings account for 40 years in my name I would be living next door to Steve Dosh now. The result being that your and my children and grandchildren would not be worrying about paying for our Social Payments.

The second part of this problem is that Social Security funds have been and still are being misdirected by politicians that you and others in your generation have voted for. The blame is not all on the folks that paid in all these years.

The Social Security system was faltered from day one. Anyone working on the day it became law that was eligible to retire could retire the next day after paying in not one red cent of funds. Great selling point, I'm sure our Great grand parents thought it was a wonderful idea. However you and a lot of other people your age are going to be paying for this boondoggle for a long time.

Think carefully before voting for someone. Your offspring and theirs will be paying for their decisions for a long long time.

Jason Theriault's picture

The fact of the matter is

That we are all to blame. And I realize that even if it was all your generation's fault, cutting medical care to your generation would only create a mess.

Nope, my generation will have to eat this one. Hopefully, we can get to single payer and get rid of the monstrosity of a health care system your generation built.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And if you think single payer

And if you think single payer health care is going to solve the problem, you're as wrong as the generation you're blaming it on was.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Social Security - a

Social Security - a government run program that has faltered. It is not sustainable.

Medicare - a government run program that has faltered. It is not sustainable.

Single Payer Healthcare - yet another government run program; GOD, will the people ever learn.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

No. History is a wheel, for

No. History is a wheel, for the nature of man remains unchanging.

MARK GRAVE's picture

I bow to the prophet St.

I bow to the prophet St. Jean.

Well, really just common sense if one is aware of human nature.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Based on current behaviors

Based on current behaviors one could easily conclude that human nature is wasted on humans.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You are a prophet. Perhaps

You are a prophet. Perhaps common sense is not all that common.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Common sense should be placed

Common sense should be placed on the endangered species list and simply referred to as 'random occasional sense'.

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