A psychologist who works for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health has come forward as the guy who made our Christmas weekends just a bit brighter by sending a gift-wrapped box of horse manure to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“What I did, I would like to compare to what Jesus did when he went into the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers, who were exploiting the people financially in the name of religion. I feel like that’s what the GOP has done to the American people,” Robert Strong told KPCC radio station. Strong said he’s well aware that the stunt could cost him his job and even expressed surprise he hasn’t been arrested, but it sounds like he thinks any consequence to his action would be worth it. “In the long run, if we don’t do stuff like this, what are we going to have left?”
Strong says he “borrowed” the horse feces from a friend for what he described as an “act of political theater” during a phone conversation with AL.com. “The thing I live by is a rule of transparency and I was exercising my First Amendment rights,” Strong told AL.com. “A few years ago when [a Supreme Court ruling] said that corporations are persons and money equals free speech, that is so absurd and my rule of thumb is now that if corporations are free speech, then so is horseshit.”
Strong hasn’t exactly hidden his role in what he described as a “prank.” He posted pictures of himself on Twitter shoveling the horse manure. “If the GOP can fleece the American people in such a brazen fashion, we must call it out in such a brazen fashion,” he wrote.
Strong also posted a picture of the hand-written card that he sent along with the manure-filled box. “Dear Misters Trump and Mnuchin, we are returning the ‘gift’ of the Christmas tax bill. It’s bull shit. Warmest wishes, the American people. PS-Kiss Donald for me.”
Strong hand-delivered the box of poo and left it outside Mnuchin’s home, although it seems maybe he got the house number wrong because it was the Treasury secretary’s neighbor who came across it and called the police. “I kind of dodged that whole issue. Is there a law that you can’t drop off a box of poo? Not really,” he said as he explained he didn’t mail the package to avoid problems with the postal service that restricts mailing waste materials.
He now hopes others will be inspired to follow in his footsteps. “The fact that [Republicans] can be so brazen and act with such impunity tells me that we have to be more brazen with our activism and maybe a bit more aggressive,” he said.
One more thing
You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.
Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.Join Slate Plus