Among the serious issues we as a nation must confront on the federal level it is vital that we pay attention to growing right-wing agitators on the local and state level. In Michigan and Wisconsin, for example, attempts to crush unions are in full cry and laws have been passed giving the Michigan legislature broad powers to take over towns and cities designated as incapable of carrying on their own affairs, never mind that representatives in those municipalities had been duly elected by the people in the region.
In our eagerness to avert what has begun to reveal itself as the conservative political slant in Congress we may have overlooked a dangerous creep at the state level that could cripple forward-looking policies and decent government. At a time when our language has become tortured and meaningless the public finds itself at the mercy of foolish, self -serving pols who sermonize about moralistic tenets but behave like scoundrels. Preachy religious advocates waste the people's time ranting about abortion and the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Act and whether gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military. More serious people worry about protecting the environment and keeping special interests from decimating the treasury.
It is a weird set of principles we are danger of accepting as our basic constitutional heritage that keeps us wrapped in a tissue of lies and deceit. It is remarkable that so many in the national entourage willingly accept the moronic positions that 'carnival barkers' hawk on a daily basis. We are beset by perverters of language and thought that only mindless backers could begin to believe. And yet a day after the president allowed his long-form birth certificate to be published, instead of ending the debate about his birthplace, crazies on the right either took up new causes to diminish Obama's right to govern or questioned the legitimacy of the document itself.
What the brouhaha over all this suggests is that, if one has no substantive material with which to criticize an opponent, the only recourse is to make ad hominem attacks even if they have no validity other than rancor and, in Obama's case, deep-seated racist hatred. Donald Trump who claims to get along just fine with "the blacks" was proud to have been able to wrest Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii's official document cache but of course he and others would have to 'have a look at it' to verify its authenticity.
As a follow-up he'd like to see Obama's school transcripts even though it should be enough that the president received a Magna Cum Laude degree from Harvard where he chaired the Law Review. Does Trump really believe that a premier university like Harvard makes token presentations of such things? Did Trump himself, a self-professed "smart guy" receive similar honors wherever it was he went to college? His claim of smarts is on its face unverifiable.
And Orly Taitz, invited on Lawrence O'Donnell's show to acknowledge her error regarding Obama's birthplace chose instead to hold up some papers accusing the president of social security fraud and refused to address the issue at hand. O'Donnell eventually had her removed from his set, to the blessed relief of anyone watching the exchange. Not so lucky unless you don't choose to watch at all, Rush Limbaugh went on one of his patented rants that supposedly celebrated Trump's victory over Obama's apparent intransigence.
So, apparently, there will never be an end to the strange intellectual wanderings on the right. Politicians will continue to use their "birther" credentials for whatever political advantage they perceive. The rest of us, however, will have to be ever more careful to dig down below their dusty verbiage and reevaluate language that is so misused on a regular basis.
The noise and tumult on the right to distract true debate must not be allowed to cloud the underlying darkness that threatens to overtake the nation's legitimate democratic processes in the name of phony constitutional legitimacy.