CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- If you're friends with Linn County Supervisor Chair Brent Oleson on Facebook, you may have seen a recent post to his personal page. It warned followers he was taking the gloves off. No longer, Oleson said, was he going to tolerate those he deemed political bullies online.
A picture of some recent posts from Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson. (Forrest Saunders/KCRG)
The supervisor said he'll be using his private account to “confront and challenge” Trump supporters in their own game of "scorched earth political engagement." When someone is aggressive, Oleson said, he planned to return fire.
"You use the same terminology,” said Oleson. “You use the same belittlement. You use the same sarcasm. You make it personal back. Bullies never like other bullies."
Oleson recently called people "idiot" and "pissant." He also told one woman to own her "s**t."
The Linn County Democrat believed it was all fair game in an era of a president whom frequently goes to war with others on social media.
"Democrats tend to be whiny and kind of taking on a victim status,” said Oleson. “That's not going to cut it in today's political climate."
Oleson has joined an online group of like-minded individuals called the "Snowflake Brigade." The group saying on its page "Together we have the force of a blizzard. Better go find your safe place."
"I just think somebody who is an elected public official, he could have taken the high road and he didn't," said Facebook user Mark Nauholz.
Nauholz recently found his way into Oleson's crosshairs after using the word "snowflake" to describe some commenters on a local news story thread.
Nauholz admitted, he's the kind of guy who "riles" people up online, even saying he “egged” Oleson on a bit. But, Nauholz didn’t think of himself as bully, and didn't appreciate being called an "idiot.”
"What I was seeing from him the other day,” said Nauholz, “it was anybody that disagreed with him. They were a ‘Trump supporter’ and a ‘bully.’ Apparently, he [Oleson] despises the man [Trump]. Then, he turns around an acts just like him... I just think that's a little bit ironic."
Oleson would say it's fighting fire with fire. Something he said he plans to keep doing in a political atmosphere burning with conflict.
"You have to fight back like they are fighting you," said Oleson.