Hi, I'm Arizona State Representative Michelle Ugenti.
You may know me from my famed rapport with college students or my hilarious masturbation jokes during public proceedings. Today I want to thank the people at Popehat for letting me write a guest post about a subject that is near and dear to my heart: cruelty to respected public servants.
Now, I know that you regard me and my fellow legislators with the high regard and respect that is our natural due. You've seen all that public leaders have accomplished in places like Arizona with our commitment to educational excellence and electoral reform and vigorous but principled law enforcement.
But — and I know that this may surprise you — some people don't give people like me the deference to which we are entitled. Rather than looking to us for wise guidance, some people seem to see us as petty, deeply mediocre squabblers with a perverted appetite for telling complete strangers what to do in the course of amoral self-promotion.
Some of them — this is difficult for me to talk about, but I must go on — some of them mock us. Us. Their elected betters.
Now, we in the Arizona legislature have a lot on our plate, what with America being invaded by foreigners and all. But we've already made strides to put the disrespectful in their place through, for instance, innovative cyberbullying legislation. Our various law enforcement agencies have found their own effective methods or preventing lawless word-violence against them.
But it's not enough. It's just not, people. Recently I have been the victim of so-called "parody accounts" pretending to be me in a so-called "satirical" manner. Let's call this for what it is: political terrorism. Hate crime. Wanton intimidation of dedicated public officials. Hurtfulness. These people and their so-called defenders say that what they are doing is clearly parody, and that no reasonable person would be deceived into thinking that they are actually me. You think that's a good argument? Let me remind you — this is Arizona, populated by people who voted for me, some of them repeatedly. Fuck, these nerve-stapled droolers have voted for Joe Arpaio for 20 years, and he's basically an escaped Kubrick character. How's that "can't be taken literally" argument looking now, huh? Yeah, I thought so.
That's why I am proposing legislation that will make it a felony to create impersonation accounts on the internet to mock people like me — important people that should not be mocked. The law will make it a felony to impersonate someone online "with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten." And let's face it — my self-esteem has been harmed, and I've been intimidated from making handjob references during legislative proceedings. There oughta be a law, and now there will be.
You see what I did with that language in the bill? So-called "free speech" advocates will say that this law "chills speech" and is "vague" and "overbroad" — but all we have to do is say, "are you for fraud? are you for harming? Are you for threatening?" Of course, Arizona prosecutors will be able to determine what "harm" or "intimidate" means — and since this law comes in the wake of "parody" accounts harmfully making fun of me, I think they'll get the message about how to apply it, don't you?
The time has come to stop the disrespect. The time has come to stop the meanness. The time has come to stop the half-truths being spread about me, like how I have a crippling addiction to incontinence medication or how I deliberately swerve to run over squirrels or how I can't watch "Downfall" parodies without becoming uncomfortably aroused. YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITY. Or you will find out how we do things in Arizona.
Thanks for listening. Your papers, please.
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