American politics is so much fun these days with the lunacy running amok in the extremist wing of the Republican Party. Their latest insanity is a paranoid fear that President Obama is plotting an invasion of Texas. That is right! The routine deployment of federal troops in six southwestern states, including Texas, has stoked fears that it is a ruse to get the populace accustomed to seeing Federal troops on the roads and highways so that when the sure-to-come invasion does occur the people will not know what is going on until it is too late
But, the significant feature of this story is the even the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, stoked these fears when instead of dismissing the paranoid concern, he wasted tax-payer resources and ordered the state guard to monitor these activities so that the rights and freedoms of Texas citizens would not be in jeopardy. Even a Republican candidate for President, Rand Paul, responded to a question on the issue with the promise that “I’ll look into it” rather than dismissing the issue.
Abbott’s and Paul’s response reflected their dependency on the lunatic fringe of their party without which they would have no hope for election. Mollification of these “low information voters” is necessary for these politicians who bow to their God of “Maintaining Electibility.”
A mature response on this type of lunacy was demonstrated by Republican Senator John McCain in 2012 when he was campaigning against President Obama. When “working a crowd” with a live microphone, one “low information voter” female asked McCain to address her concern that Obama was a Muslim. McCain politely and calmly took the microphone from her and told her, “No, President Obama is not a Muslim.” He then adroitly shifted the focus to legitimate territory, “President Obama represents a different approach to governing this country” and then proceeded to address the GOP agenda. Here McCain politely set a limit with this woman and with all who were watching. In recent years many Republican politicians have gone to embarrassing extremes to avoid honestly answer questions re Obama’s citizenship and religion, knowing that to answer candidly would possibly alienate them from the base of their party.
Now, this kind of “stuff” always gets my panties in a wad because I grew up in that kind of madness and it is still buried somewhere deep in my heart…I guess. And looking back on it I realize and remember how it appealed to a mother lode of fear in my young heart remnants of which are still present, unfortunately. And fundamentalist religions of all stripes are always fear-based and thus thrive on perceived threats to their integrity and freedom. But they are failing to remember that Jesus said that, “Perfect love casteth out fear.” (My panties, btw, are pink chiffon with black polka dots!)
I do not blame these “low information voters” for this phenomena. They cannot help it in some way for they have not been blessed with the opportunity for an education. But I do blame politicians who have exploited the fears of these people merely for the sake of electability. One other illustration of their pandering is that many of the leading GOP politicians have a stock-answer to questions about whether or not they believe in global warming: “Well, I’m not a scientist.” They know that the ill-informed, uneducated basis of their party thrives on an anti-science and anti-intellectual currency and so these very intelligent and well-educated leaders of our country embarrass themselves by refusing to answer the questions of that sort directly.
Here are two links relevant to this insanity:
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