Just in case you haven’t heard, right wingers are freaking out about a conspiracy theory that a military training exercise called Jade Helm 15 is really a plot by the Obama administration to take over the state of Texas.
No matter how many times I think, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” it continues to be a consistent dilemma in response to this kind of thing. That’s why I wholly endorse what Leonard Pitts wrote about it today. After commenting on the fact that TX Gov. Greg Abbot took this nonsense seriously enough to send in state guard troops to monitor the situation, Pitts says this:
Forgive me if I don’t spend a lot of space pointing out that this is stupid, though I can’t resist asking: If the Navy, Army, Marines and Air Force were, indeed, planning to take over Texas, just what does Gov. Abbott think the state guard would be able to do about it?
There is, however, a more pressing observation to be made. After all, chances are good you’ve never heard about any of this — the story hasn’t garnered major headlines — and that, hearing of it now, you are not terribly surprised. That speaks pointedly of how inured we have become to the insane, paranoiac, anti-government prattle flowing like sewage from the political right. Duly elected leaders, putatively responsible people, give credence to the crazy idea that the federal government is about to attack its second most populous state and we shrug because it’s just another Tuesday in the lunatic asylum of American politics.
Thank you Leonard! There is danger in shrugging off this kind of lunacy when it gets embraced – not just by the rank and file – but by those we have elected to lead our state/country. And while we may not be able to change that, the least we can do is point it out.