University of Virginia (UVA) postdoctoral fellow and former George Mason University (GMU) professor David Walsh called for government overthrow if Democratic challenger Joe Biden loses the election.
“Here’s the thing: if the worst-case scenario happens next week, Americans don’t need to just ‘protest.’ They need to actively try to topple the government,” wrote Walsh. “Also worth noting that the military has already made it clear that in such a scenario, they’re not going to back Trump.”
Here’s the thing: if the worst-case scenario happens next week, Americans don’t need to just “protest.”
They need to actively try to topple the government.
— David “That’s *DR.* Commie F*ck” Walsh (@DavidAstinWalsh) October 27, 2020
Following the post’s controversy, GMU removed Walsh’s profile page from their website and tweeted their disagreement with his statements. Walsh’s page had remained on the website up until shortly after his tweet.
“Contrary to earlier reports, @DavidAstinWalsh does not teach for @GeorgeMasonU nor is he a Mason faculty member. He did teach one class as a part-time instructor last year, but he is no longer an employee of the University. That said, we do not agree with his statement.”
UVA hasn’t issued any remarks on the matter. The university’s standards of conduct prohibits violations of federal, state, or local law “if such directly affects the University’s pursuit of its proper educational purposes… where a specific provision of a statute or ordinance is charged in the complaint.”
Section 2385 of the U.S. Code prohibits advocating government overthrow, with punishments including fines and up to two decades imprisonment.
“Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States… Whoever, with the intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter destroying any government in the United States by force or violence… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.”
Walsh has amassed a following from his academic commentaries and work linking the far-right with conservatism. He has about 26,300 followers, including Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN).
“Solidarity with the people of Philadelphia tonight,” wrote Walsh.
Solidarity with the people of Philadelphia tonight.
— David “That’s *DR.* Commie F*ck” Walsh (@DavidAstinWalsh) October 29, 2020
On Sunday, Walsh reasserted his position on toppling the government. The academic retweeted a series of articles on protests of individuals rejecting election results in the foreign country of Georgia.
Individuals gathered in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, to demand a recall of Saturday’s results declaring the Georgian Dream party’s victory.
“See, this is the kind of thing that the Democrats may very well need to do on Wednesday,” stated Walsh.
In an interview with The Virginia Star, Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson remarked that Governor Ralph Northam’s lack of interest in Walsh’s tweets relating to GMU and UVA is inconsistent with his recent agenda with the Virginia Military Institute (VMI).
“What the VMI controversy is all about, is that [alumni] asked to remove those monuments back in June, and VMI said no. And when that happened, they became obsessed with making something out of VMI’s culture: that it’s racist. But not a peep from the governor or any of those fourteen people who signed the letter for how dangerous it is for academia to be openly advocating for the overthrow of the U.S. government if the election doesn’t go their way. You used to say something like that, and the FBI would be knocking on your door.”
Walsh didn’t respond with comment by press time.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “David Walsh” by University of Virginia.