Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks during the Texas GOP Convention last month.
Social Security. The United Nations. Mandatory immunizations. Critical thinking. Implanting a radio chip in your body.
It sounds like a pretty random list, but in reality these are all things Paul Begala found that Texas Republicans opposed when he read the state GOP’s platform. (As Begala points out early in his Daily Beast piece, he read the platform so we all don’t have to.)
And in case you think wild ideas like these are unique to red states such as Texas, think again (or, if you’re in the Lone Star State—don’t. Remember, the Republican Party there is against thinking). Begala also looked at the GOP platform in Minnesota. Among other things, Republicans there want to defund public radio. As Begala points out, they would like to do this “in the land of Garrison Keillor.” Yes, Republicans went there.
Texas Republicans hate the heavy hand of government. And so they oppose mandatory preschool and kindergarten, mandatory immunizations, mandatory, well, mandatory mandates. It’s one thing to be antigovernment. It’s another to be pro-stupid. Yet the Texas GOP actually opposes thinking. Seriously, their platform proudly declares: “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, critical-thinking skills, and similar programs.” As the Texas populist Jim Hightower likes to say, if ignorance is bliss, these are the happiest people on earth.
Of course, my Republican family and friends back home will say they just flat don’t want gubmint gettin’ all in your grill. Unless, of course, you’re gay. Or a woman seeking to choose to have an abortion. Then the government will not only be in your grill, it will be controlling your carburetor. For those keeping score at home, mandating a polio vaccine: tyranny. Mandating invasive ultrasound: freedom.
...On the economy, the Texans proudly quote at great length from the GOP’s national platform—from 1932. I kid you not. These folks pine for the policies of Herbert Hoover. They want to repeal the minimum wage, abolish the Federal Reserve, and return to the gold standard. By next year they’ll be calling for a return to wampum and barter.