Yes, send in the clowns.
Ames, Iowa must be either the biggest circus – or the largest insane asylum in the United States of America. How else can I explain the fact that Michele Bachmann won the Ames straw poll yesterday, a fact which I find incredibly disturbing – and even more disturbing, I expected it to happen.
I don’t even have a word for to describe the GOP candidates this year. Insane isn’t quite right (although it’s close); stupid? Well, yeah, in some cases, but not all.
Mendacious? Oh yeah, definitely. Hypocritical? Again – spot on.
Bigotry? Yup. That’s another quality that has become desirable in a president to the nutjobs in Ames, Iowa. You must hate Muslims with the fire of a thousand white-hot suns and believe that Sharia law is from the devil, but in your next breath, you must tell us that full-on, Old Testament Biblical law is what we should be living under. (My eyes are now rolling so hard they are about to pop out of my eye sockets and skitter away across the floor.)
And we have at least two (if not more) of them claiming that God told them to run for president, which in the old days, was called “schizophrenia” and was considered a mental health issue – for which you would be either locked up or medicated. Or both.
Which brings me to religious zealotry – a very odd quality to demand from an American president, in light of our Constitutional concept of “separation of church and state” (which was, after all, laid down by our Founders). This, to me, is the most frightening element of the GOPcrazy; Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are both members of extreme rightwing evangelical dominionist Christian sects who believe that they have “a God-given mandate to re-assert Christian control over political, social, and cultural institutions.”
Yeah, that means exactly what it sounds like: all of us – you, me, the Buddhists, the Jews – everyone – we are all to come under the control of, and be forced to live by, the extreme Christian precepts set forth by these dominionists who wish to rule over every aspect of our society – from the books we read to what we do in bed and with whom.
And finally, I think it’s obvious that there’s a huge amount of cynicism with a heaping helping of pandering tossed in that salad of crazy this year. I mean, come on! Take Newt Gingrich, for instance – who has been a fixture in the GOP for decades – he’s a smart man, (even an intellectual elitist, if you will), but because he’s trying so very hard to make himself over into the science-denying, Bible-humping, Muslim- and gay-bashing NO-NEW-TAXES-EVER model of the GOP presidential candidate in order to appeal to the inmates of the Ames Asylum, he comes off looking truly pitiable, like he’s trying to squeeze into a suit four sizes too small. I’ve heard that Newt has even resorted to making up imaginary followers on Twitter.
And Jon Huntsman – well, Jon Huntsman ought to be ashamed of himself. From what I’ve learned about Governor Huntsman, he has been a reasonable man, a centrist, an embracer of reality, civil rights and marriage equality, and now, he too is demeaning himself by chasing after the GOP clown car yelling, “Wait for me!!!! Wait – I’m crazy too! See? I can say crazy things just like you guys!! Wait up! Guys!! Wait uuuuuuup!!” (Images of Ralphie’s little brother in his snowsuit from “A Christmas Story” come to mind here…)
As a sane person, I am having a very difficult time putting this all together and making it make sense; you see, I’m reality-based, and I’m not one for cognitive dissonance, which is loosely defined as believing two directly opposite things at the same time. And I’m definitely not faith-based. I refuse to believe stuff just because someone tells me to, stuff like the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that Jesus only rode His donkey into Jerusalem because He couldn’t find His dinosaur.
This is America, but damn! It is fast becoming a scary place that I don’t recognize; the inmates are slowly-but-surely taking over and making new rules which demand that we all embrace their skewed and twisted version of reality – whether we want to or not.
I am left to come to only one conclusion: George Orwell was a prophet.
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.