Case Study: Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R)

What’s wrong with conservative politics in the United States?  Don’t strain yourself looking. and don’t busy yourself with a list.  Time is precious and examples abound!  Conservatives, after all, make celebrities of their fools and bad ideas.  But even under a small rock you can find little ones with big bad ideas.

Let’s look at Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal, for an example.

Really, I have to admit, the point of this post is to promote a June 2012  Think Progress post from Marie Diamond.  I was simply going to plagiarize the thing.  Or tweet it.  It is particularly germane post today as the country struggles with the insanity of violence in our society.  And I am sure every day I could find another…and another…and another…

The post I want to promote speaks for itself and begs for criticism, much needed criticism.  We see this often enough, and yet ideas like these seem to fester with increasing toxicity.  Plus, of course, we’re exposed to more political bile through the service of the internet.

That is bad news, especially if you hope to restore credibility to conservative politics.  These off-the-rails comments expose the devolving, ignorant tenor of conservative political speech in the United States, and, as I suggest, it is speech that speaks with loud, self-evident clarity.

So why does the GOP trend farther and farther to the extreme fringes of the right?  Who stands up and opposes this?  My complaints mean little.  It has to start from within the party, especially from the ground up.

Take note, Mike O’Neal is a leader within the Republican Party, a party and ideology that enjoys support from tens of millions of Americans.  Aligning with leaders like this, with this sort of rhetoric and these values, creates a complicity with those values that need some accountability.  If you vote for these people, you have some explaining to do.

So, Republicans, explain yourself.  Defend your associations with people who take positions like those of Mike O’Neal.  Or maybe you agree?

Voters hold responsibility for giving these ideas a voice.  From conservatives making millions exploiting hatred as Rush Limbaugh does mocking school children to people pasting cheap hate-filled bumper stickers on cars, the message is equally dismal and dangerous and overwhelming garbage from the right.

Prove otherwise.  Or better yet, vote otherwise.

 

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