(This post is part of the 30 for 30 Challenge).
The only thing seemingly newsworthy of the Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump is the fact of her increasing inability to form sentences and coherent thoughts. I didn’t think that was possible based on past appearances, but little ceases to amaze me these days. My favorite headline of the endorsement which sums it quite nicely was from Slate titled “Hot Mess Endorses Dumpster Fire”.
But I will not be talking about Sarah Palin, at least not directly.
Instead, I’m going to highlight a few pieces of recent legislation and conservative efforts that are perfectly Sarah Palin-esque in their absurdity. The few examples below are a small sample of why so many Americans are fed up with the state of our politics.
Irresponsible laws that miss the point – The latest in such shenanigans is Arizona House Bill 2042 sponsored by Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem which would make nunchucks legal in Arizona. That’s right, the weapon used by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Because what we need are more ways to brutalize our fellow man. Funnily enough, this is a watered down version of a previously failed bill by Former Republican Senator Kelli Ward, which in addition to legalizing nunchucks also sought to legalize silencers for pistols and sawed off shotguns. Ridiculous, pointless, and dangerous laws like this (of which there are enough to write an entire book about) frustrate the average American to no end. Don’t mind the crumbling infrastructure, or the fact that most working families are living in near in poverty. Please, take care of this first.
Efforts to secede from the Union – Whether it is SB 1433 in Arizona sponsored by Russell Pearce that would have given a select committee of the state legislature authority to overturn provisions of federal law state legislators did not agree with, or completely seceding from the Union as they have been proposing in Texas for quite some time now, efforts to undermine Federal law in favor of individual state desires is very strongly supported by members of today’s ultra right-wing. Current Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz has long been advocating for means to allow states to band together to undermine Federal authority – specifically the Presidential veto authority. I wonder if he’ll reconsider that idea if it was his veto power.
Strong-Arming Lobbyist Groups – Organizations like ALEC are another reason so many Americans are fed up with the state of money as influence in politics. ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is a lobbyist group that influences state and federal government lawmakers on ultra conservative causes, and not only that, but writes the legislation for them. Political satirist John Oliver recently highlighted the absurdity of it all. Until access to influence our elected leaders is no greater than what each individual citizen can expect to receive (i.e. not much these days), the laws in the U.S. will continue to be written in favor of groups like ALEC who have the most financial resources to influence.
The above reasons are just a few very quick and obvious examples of the growing problem that is our national politic. The answers to some of these ills are clear, but difficult. Overcoming them is essential to future progress.