Every society and culture throughout recorded history has had its share of extremist and fanatics in their midst, but few have suffered them as their leaders. Any people that have to live under extremists warrant sympathy because in places like Afghanistan, Yeomen, Iraq and Syria the people had little choice in selecting who governed or brutalized them. America has more than its share of extremists and fanatics, and they are gaining positions of authority in government; particularly red state governments. However, one can hardly feel empathy for the people living under Republican extremists because unlike people suffering under fanatics in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and ISIS-controlled Iraq; red state extremists are chosen by incredibly stupid Americans to govern.
One really wants to believe that no sane person would leave the comfort of their home, drive to the local polling place, and cast a vote for a fanatical extremist, but that is not the case in red states across America. It is particularly bizarre that these Republican extremists never concealed their fanaticism and still garnered sufficient support from seriously stupid voters to win elections and impose absurd, and unconstitutional, measures on the residents of their state. After the 2010 midterm elections it seemed the nation would never again suffer a rash of seriously crazy politicians winning elections, but this is America and red state voters have outdone their own stupidity. There is a plethora of insane legislation being proposed and passed in red states, and coupled with some recent state judges’ decisions, it is apparent that no matter how insane Republicans are, they exist in government because red state voters are inherently stupid.
One South Dakota Republican extremist is so convinced that “Planned Parenthood is worse than ISIS and lying about it,” that he is pushing a bill to stop a procedure that Planned Parenthood does not perform with a view toward outlawing the family planning organization. The maniac voters chose as their legislative representative, Isaac Latterell, asserted that “Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls are beheading unborn children during abortions.” Latterell said “I am beyond angry at what Planned Parenthood is doing to us and our children. In the words of David Brooks, like ISIS, their actions show contempt for us and our morality, deny the slightest acknowledgment of our common humanity, and take the bully’s maximum relish in their power over the weak and innocent.”
Republicans and many of their supporters want Planned Parenthood wiped off the face of the Earth in the same way decent humans want ISIS exterminated. But, comparing an organization providing cancer screening, family planning, and pre-natal care for women with ISIS to eliminate it from existence is beyond extreme; but because voters chose Republicans to lead, eliminating an organization that helps women is apparently exactly what red state voters want.
It is bad enough that Oklahoma attempted to defund AP history courses, and although the extremists are “rethinking” the ban after a fair amount of public outrage, there was little reported about one aspect of the rule Republicans will not rethink; the inclusion of the Ten Commandments and Ronald Reagan speeches Oklahoma deems is the most integral part of “American history.” The initial reason for banning AP courses was that students were learning revisionist history in advanced course work; revisionist history in extremists’ parlance is anything not portraying America as an exceptional Christian nation created by god to rule the Earth according to the Ten Commandments. It is an extremists’ concept and one seriously stupid voters elected their evangelical legislators to enact into law.
Also in Oklahoma, the House Judiciary Committee advanced legislation prohibiting judges and clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Like Alabama, this is in spite of a federal court decision striking down the state’s ban on gays marrying the person they love. According to the legislation, besides “prohibiting public funds for any activity licensing or supporting same-sex marriage; prohibiting public employees from recognizing same-sex marriage licenses, and prohibiting public funds to enforce federal court orders,” the bill severely punishes any public employee adhering to the Constitution regarding the authority of federal courts. The legislation states that “no employee of this state or any local governmental shall violate or interfere with the implementation of this act and continue to receive a salary, pension or other employee benefit. If a judge violates this act, the judge shall be removed from the bench.”
In the continuing bible v. Constitution marriage equality drama in Alabama, a Supreme Court justice issued an ominous warning to residents that “If marriage equality remains the law in Alabama, Justice Glenn Murdock will vote to abolish marriage altogether. Supreme Court Justice Murdock’s opinion was attached to an order from the state supreme court refusing to offer guidance to judges on whether they are really required to obey federal court as mandated in the U.S. Constitution. In Murdock’s concurrence with Chief Justice Roy Moore’s order, he threatened that if the federal order stands, then his court will strike down all marriages in the state of Alabama. It is important to note that that the religious fanatics on Alabama’s highest court were elected by the people who were likely aware they would disregard the Constitution when it conflicts with the Christian bible. They are likely too stupid to comprehend that today it is same-sex marriage and just a matter of time before religious judges enforce other biblical edicts voters will not appreciate.
Although there are extremist laws proposed or passed in red states across the South, Montana is setting a precedent for legislative insanity. One bill (SB 130) is touted as a means for Montana citizens to protect themselves “from the grave danger posed by the federal government.” The legislation mandates creating state-sanctioned paramilitary groups in every city, large and small, to be known as “home guards.” The bill empowers the local sheriffs to mobilize these armed militias for any reason they deem necessary and they can activate their private little armies without the governor’s consent. Obviously SB 130 enjoys “enthusiastic and overwhelming support” from militia groups already stockpiling large caches of firearms in anticipation of the nearest opportunity to wage war against the federal government.
Another piece of Montana insanity that enjoys popularity across the bible South is the “Encourage Critical Thinking in the Classroom” legislation. HB 321’s title is misleading because the intent is giving preachers posing as public school teachers ‘legal immunity’ to teach alternative (bible) theories as science. The legislation’s preamble says that since “The scientific community has not resolved or answered the questions related to the origins of all life or the origin of our universe,” so responsible teachers can teach the bible as science under the guise they are encouraging critical thinking.
In keeping with typical gun zealot’s extremist reading of the 2nd Amendment, Montana’s HB 203 declares that Montana citizens can legally ignore federal firearms laws such as the ban on machine guns, rockets and missiles, and cannons. The legislation also makes it a crime for any member of law enforcement, from local police to highway patrol officers to county sheriffs and deputies to enforce any federal gun law. Montana also is pushing a law to allow hunters to use silencers. Coupled with the “mandatory armed militias” and elimination of gun possession laws, the legalization of silencers cannot possibly be anything but a gift to militant groups and criminals; not hunters.
The list of insane legislation being passed or proposed in red states is exhaustive, and it is tempting to feel empathy for residents of those states, but they have no one to blame but themselves. None of the gun fanatics, religious fanatics, or anti-government and anti-Constitution candidates attempted to conceal their intent when they campaigned for the right to put their fanaticism into the law.
The problem even for true believers who knew who they were voting for maniacs is that their chosen extremists know no bounds and it takes a particularly stupid voter to believe otherwise. Today it is just forming militias to wage war on the federal government, imposing strict religious instruction in public schools, and allowing bands of militias armed with silenced-handguns, machine guns and rocket launchers to roam the streets. Voters were too stupid to realize that if this is the fanatics starting point they promised during their campaigns, red state residents better be prepared for some serious ISIS and Taliban extremism in the near future. It is tragic, but they have no one to blame but their own stupidity for choosing fanatics to govern every aspect of their lives; and being extremists, they will ‘govern’ over every last aspect of their lives.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.