Protecting Our Children From the Communists

I try not to indulge too much in quoting U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). It’s just too easy, and low as my opinion is of congressional Republicans these days, he’s not terribly representative of their rhetoric (though he is a big star on the wingnut rubber chicken circuit). Besides, unlike, say, his fellow Texasn Ted Cruz, Gohmert is not likely to be taken seriously as a thinker or debater, much as they often think and sound alike.

But I just can’t resist the latest Gohmert rant (via Right Wing Watch), in part because it occurred on the radio show of David Barton, that incredibly influential “historian” who has succeeded in convincing a vast number of religious and political conservatives that the whole idea of church-state separation would have been anathema to the Founders. Hold onto your hat:

[M]ankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody. And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid to unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions. It’s just incredible.

And there is a natural law that parents should be involved in education, they should know about, they should be part of the training – that’s a law of nature; Alan Keyes was just talking about it this weekend when we were together. That is such an important part of nature and yet that is the very thing that some of these liberals want to take away.

And it reminds me so much of the summer that I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union back in the Seventies and I was shocked when they were saying ‘no, the children don’t belong to parents, they belong to the state.’ And if any parent said anything in front of their children negative about the wonderful Soviet Union, then we will take their children away and give them to somebody more deserving. And I just thought how horribly shocking that was, that of course parents were the ones who love the children, not the state. And I thought thank God that we don’t have that in our country.

And now I’ve seen this coming with a lady from MSNBC saying “hey, children belong to the state” … and it just sent chills because it took me back to the Seventies when that’s what the Soviet Union used to say and we know how well that worked out.

This last bit is an illusion to a banal “it takes a village” remark by MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry in a network promo spot. It has ricocheted around the wingnutosphere and emerged in Gohmert’s distinctive voice as a sign of the impending conquest of the American family by neo-communists. It would be amazing if it didn’t happen so often.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.