April 20, 2017
“The only way to make any sense of this charge is to assume that anyone who is a minority (as both Ms. Shuford and Ms. Perry are) who dislikes President Trump must then automatically hate white people and Christians. Put another way, the Princess Anne police evidently think that to be a Trump supporter is synonymous with being white and Christian.”
Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason writes that the arson charges make sense...
But a hate crime? That's where this story gets sticky. The government is effectively saying that having any political motive for doing something is as deplorable as doing it out of racism, misogyny, or hatred of LGBT people.
For a number of reasons, libertarians (myself included) tend to oppose categorically harsher treatment of offenses motivated on "hate," which has always been a slippery topic to get a legal hold on. But at least the typical criteria for labeling something a hate crime are easy enough to understand—these are offenses motivated by animosity toward a particular identity category (like race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation) that we consider either innate/immutable or (in the case of religion) at least sacrosanct.
“Expressing support for Donald Trump does not make you a member of a protected class, nor does opposing him make you an anti-white, anti-Christian bigot,” the Sun noted. “There have been plenty of real hate crimes committed since the election that have given people reason to fear for their safety based on their race, ethnicity or religion. This wasn't one of them.”