Gruber: Battle Lines Drawn in Kalkaska
The small village of Kalkaska with a population of a bit less than 2,500 people could find itself on the fault line of the American political divide Friday. This is the heart of Trump country, a place that is deep red. But some have taken exception to the Kalkaska Village President, Jeff Seiting for his blunt and sometimes shocking comments on the issues of the day. They are vowing to descend on Kalkaska and demand he resign his job at City Hall. He says that’s never going to happen and is being told by others that as many as 500 supporters could turn out to confront the protesters.
The lines have been drawn.
Seiting has been running Kalkaska’s village affairs since he was first elected in 2011. “This community was flat broke, it was broken and it was about to come apart when I got here,” he says. “Last time I ran unopposed because I am doing the job I was elected to do.” It seems however Seiting has attracted the attention of those on the left that despise many of the things he does and a lot more of what he says and posts on the internet. His Facebook page has become a particularly hot topic.
“Look I studied history, I understand the Constitution and I know what this country is about. I am a white man, I am a Christian and if you don’t like that fine but don’t try to shout me down or tell me what to think.”
Seiting is also a proud Donald Trump supporter who has a large ‘Trump’ sign on his hotel in town. That has attracted a lot of attention - not much of it very good - from those who despise the President. But it is Facebook posts that have drawn the most scorn. In one post referencing Islamic terrorism he posted; ‘Kill them all- every last one.” In another he posited that Transgenderism is a mental illness. A position the World Health Organization still has on the subject as well. In yet another post he said it is time to “thin the herd” when it comes to Black Lives Matter. Is he suggesting violence against the group? “Absolutely not he says, I am saying they have pretty questionable people in that group that shouldn’t be there at a time when police officers are being hunted and murdered in this country.”
He says he has no idea what to expect but knows State Police, the Kalkaska County Sheriff and local law enforcement will all be on hand at 7pm when the protesters are supposed to begin the rally.
The Michigan State Police confirmed to Michigan Talk Network News that troopers will be monitoring the situation but will not have a big presence in the village unless something causes them to step in. ‘We have a game plan on paper on how we will respond if we need to. The only time we will step in is if it becomes necessary to protect people and property. If that happens we will restore order if that is what it takes’.