Three days ago, David Ramadan was just another low-profile state lawmaker—one of more than 7,000 humble state legislators.
That was until he stood up to Donald Trump and became the latest politician/citizen/human to draw the fact-free rage of the mob of angry Trump supporters.
It all started on Sunday when Donald Trump decided to tweet his displeasure with the Republican Party of Virginia as a result of their intentions to have Republican primary voters sign a statement affirming that they are, in fact, Republicans. It’s an honor-system practice likely aimed at weeding out Democratic and other non-Republican voters who are technically allowed to vote in the state’s open primary.
Over the course of a lengthy Twitter rant, Trump asserted that it was a conspiracy on the part of the state party’s leaders to hurt his candidacy (a curious assertion, as the state considered such a move in 2011 but then reversed course after it drew controversy—almost like everything isn’t all about Donald Trump!).
Over the next day, the hate-tweets from Trump supporters came by the thousands. But this wasn’t just typical Trump-lovin’ Internet excitability; this was from the kind of people who love Donald Trump and are not especially amenable to immigrants from the Middle East.
Ramadan, born to a Muslim family, is married to a Methodist, and doesn’t practice Islam, as the AP reported when he first entered the House of Delegates in 2011. Since his election, he’s gotten a 90 percent lifetime score from the American Conservative Union and won the NRA’s endorsement. He also gets miserable marks from pro-choice groups and teachers’ unions. But that hasn’t stopped Trump’s genius Twitter fans from deciding that Ramadan is a secret Muslim mole who must be stopped.
“Revoke his citizenship, and send him back,” said one. “No right to be here at all. Vote Trump!!”
He isn’t worried, though.
“I think I can protect myself,” he said, chuckling. “Second Amendment guy here.”
And another Twitter user, @AmyMek, circulated a Breitbart News piece from 2011 alleging that Ramadan was a secret agent for a foreign government. Frank Gaffney, who has long touted a host of crazy conspiracy theories about American Muslims (and about Obama’s birthplace), has also done some chin-stroking about whether or not Ramadan “is hiding facts about his personal history.”
The conspiracy theories would make sense if the top goal of covert foreign actors was stopping toll hikes on the Dulles Greenway—one of Ramadan’s top priorities in office.
Ramadan said these allegations aren’t new.
“If you Google me, you seem to find dark sections of the Web—reports that make me supposedly a terrorist and an undercover cell, and both ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah, all three combined sometimes,” he said. “And that is just absolute craziness.”
He said he thinks Trump’s rhetoric isn’t doing the Republican Party any favors, and that he doesn’t think Trump will be the party’s eventual nominee. And until then, he will keep sending emoji-laden tweets at the Trump fans who want him deported.
“It is frustrating,” he added. “But God bless this country, God bless America, God bless the Constitution.”