By definition liberals, also known as the group which after establishment Republicans is most threatened by Donald Trump's meteoric rise, are supposed to be... well... liberal, as in avoid prejudice when interacting with fellow human beings. Unfortunately, that appears not to be the case with a landlord in Grand Junction, Colorado, who is refusing to rent to anyone who supports Trump.
As the Daily Sentinel writes, supporters of The Donald aren’t welcome at Mark Holmes’ rental on Main Street, indicated by this advertisement he placed in The Nickel last week. To wit:
For rent: Downtown apartment, 2 bedrooms. Includes organic garden space, hot tub, great backyard. You can bring your dogs if they have references as good as yours. If voting for Donald Trump, do not call.
As the Colorado paper writes, the ad prompted some anonymous callers who disagreed with his political statement to leave hate messages on his voicemail.But before you judge this prejudiced "liberal", hear his side of the story.
Landlord Mark Holmes.
His reasoning behind placing the stipulation in the ad is that he doesn’t know what to do anymore about the possibility that Trump might be elected, and he’s just had it.
“I don’t know what to do anymore about what’s going on in this country,” he said. “It’s just a mess.”
Holmes said he was inspired to include the stipulation for a few reasons, including the fact that he doesn’t want to share a roof with Trump sympathizers who subscribe to Trump’s rhetoric, which has included controversial comments about banning Muslims from the country, building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants and encouraging violence at his rallies.
“He’s preaching hate and he’s preaching … a lot of venom, spit and vinegar. And I live in the top part of the house,” Holmes said. “I don’t want anybody that even thinks that Donald Trump can be a good president to live in my home.”
Perhaps the "liberal" Mr. Holmes has forgotten, but about 50 years ago, other just as "enlightened" Americans refused to offer services to fellow Americans, only not due to their ideological beliefs, but because of the color of their skin. They were called racists.
Not surprisingly, one of the messages left on Holmes' phone by an anonymous caller claimed that Holmes was violating federal housing rules and discriminating against political affiliations.
What is surprising, is that that is not true, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"That has nothing to do with the Fair Housing Act,” said HUD spokesman Jerry Brown, noting that he hasn’t received inquiries about similar ads. “But that seems to be a first, and it’s original." That's one way of putting it; we wonder how the HUD's Jerry would respond if instead of Trump, Holmes would have denied rent to an Obama, or Hillary Clinton supporter.
Of for that matter, how Brown would respond if Mark had decided to deny rent to, say, a black applicant, instead of one who believes what America needs is a break from its, pardon the pun, broken fake two-party system.
Holmes said he has received several applicants and has a potential renter already, so the ad didn’t cause problems for him in attracting business, but, “I didn’t do it as a gimmick to rent at all,” he said. “I think people just don’t understand that (Trump’s possible election) is going to happen.”
It is also unclear how Holmes' belief of how the presidential election will turn out has anything to do with who he deems worth of renting his property/
Holmes, who has lived in the Grand Valley since the 1970s, said he’s a long-time activist, who started protesting during the Vietnam War and continued over the years as he encountered various causes he believed in, including the fight against a toxic waste incinerator proposed for Cisco, Utah, in the late 1980s.
He calls the current political situation a “quagmire” and said he’s recruiting dedicated, like-minded folks for a grassroots coalition to promote change on a variety of issues, not just opposing Trump for president.
“But it’s not easy,” he said. “I swear to God, half the nation is on Prozac. People are asleep at the wheel.”
Though he hasn’t developed the website yet, Holmes registered the domain name wecannottakeitanymore.com in January, which lists his email address, email@example.com. He hopes to recruit participants for peaceful demonstrations on a variety of issues, and wants participants who are willing to “get their fingernails dirty.”
"I want to pick people who don’t mind spending a night in jail during a Gandhi-type of protest," he said.
On the taxpayer's dime, of course, he forgot to add.