Political ignorance is not bliss
27th August 2012 · 0 Comments
You can’t make this stuff up.
In the course of one week we have learned an important lesson about Republican leaders, especially those who get elected. Their grasp of how this government operates is as weak as their understanding of how women’s bodies function. The two deficiencies may be related in some bizarre way.
First Tom Akins burns the biology books with new “information” about pregnancy and rape. Not to be outdone, Lubbock County, Texas judge Tom Head puts the torch to civics books and the U.S. Constitution itself, declaring that President Obama somehow has the power to unilaterally give control of the USA to the United Nations. Head says he needs money to pay for additional sheriff’s deputies because if Obama is re-elected civil war or revolution will break out. He will need seven additional officers to help repel UN peacekeeping troops that pull into Lubbock County…only seven.
It’s too early to declare a winner of the “stupid” category, because some Republican is bound to try to top these guys in the next few days. Romney has already uttered speeches about Obama trying to give up sovereignty, which could not happen due to existing checks and balances in the structure of the government. High school civics should tell you how this works, but Judge Head and Romney obviously don’t know much about civics.
Both of these lies were told to achieve ulterior objectives. Akins is trying to get his anti-abortion legislation passed and Head is trying to get an $8000,000 tax increase. (And here you thought Republicans were against tax hikes.)
Both recanted portions of their statements once they were exposed and challenged. Both claimed their televised, recorded, un-tampered-with words were somehow taken out of context. Both still adamantly hold to the basic stances on policy that generated the now-famous statements.
If Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley or Marc Morial called for such action they would be tarred and feathered. If a Black judge called for resources to pay for armed resistance against genocide against Black people they would probably be arrested as a terrorist for violating either the Patriot Act or the NDAA, or both.
Yet the Republican Party is not only not embarrassed by Head, they are “standing behind” him. Seems that conservatives will use any lie or any scare tactic to win. This is what desperation looks like; not a pretty picture.
You don’t have to be a history buff to remember the scare that conservative talking heads spread four years ago. They told an ignorant, gullible white populace that Obama, if elected, would take all the guns from the citizens. In response, the night Obama won, the sale of guns began to increase to the extent that Remington Arms ran out of ammunition within a few months. They could not keep up with the pace of sales.
Obama did not try to take their guns away. Why? Because that was never his agenda in the first place. But why let the truth get in the way of a good campaign strategy?
At issue here is not just the lack of integrity of conservative leaders at all level, but their utter contempt for the intelligence those who listen to or follow them. They will literally say anything to win, and therein lays the danger.
The real leaders of the Republican Party probably don’t believe this garbage; they just know that it gets votes. They don’t care about the violence or injustice that could result from pushing this kind of national hysteria. They are without excuse because we have seen historical precedents for this type of campaigning.
The greatest threat to the U.S. does not come from a President miraculously giving control of the nation to the UN. The greatest threat is ignorant fanatics in powerful positions using their authority and credibility to create bad policy, mass confusion and racial violence.
This article originally published in the August 27, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.