Bob Johnson, a doctor and Republican candidate in Georgia’s solidly-red 1st District, said at a February candidate forum that the TSA is “indoctrinating” Americans.You know, fella, there's a legitimate point to be made in all of this—would it pain you to say it less, well, stupidly? We do not need to wedge the word "indoctrination" into every last conservative talking point like you're shoving a dead fish through the listener's mail slot. I don't think that word means what you think it means. Oh—what about "inculcating"? That's a damn fine word that doesn't get thrown around much at all these days, conservatives should take that one out for a spin. Makes you sound like William F. Buckley, that one.
“Now this is going to sound outrageous, I’d rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen,” he said, according to a video clip obtained by POLITICO. “Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?”
He criticized the TSA for “indoctrinating generations of Americans to walk through a line and be prodded and probed by uniform personnel, agents of the government, like sheep.”
Second, there is a legitimate point to be made in whether the various forms of security theater are really doing eff-all to prevent terrorism, versus merely providing a public facade of doing so. Vowing your own death rather than limit the size of your carry-on toothpaste is probably the stupidest possible way to make that point. I don't know Patrick Henry, and I never met Patrick Henry, but I do not know that he would apply revolutionary fervor to airport security restrictions. Maybe he would, I don't know. The founding fathers went through an awful lot of alcohol, I'm sure there was a time or two when he vowed he would rather die than deal with his horse throwing another shoe, and he could probably give a pretty stirring speech if he wanted to on his dedication towards freezing to death in the parlor rather than going outside to fetch more firewood. Who knows?
There seems to be a trend in politics. We don't want statesmen, we don't want people who can Speak Good. We want people who can take any halfway-complicated subject and commit themselves to total emotional meltdown on that subject whenever a microphone is placed in front of them. Security screenings iz like rule by Redcoats! Suggesting we rethink the capital gains tax rate is like the Holocaust! Our fertilizer factories have the God-given right to explode, and if you infringe on that right it will be worse than when Japan bombed the Alamo!
Making coherent points about debatable issues would seem to be the singular necessary requirement for helping to govern the country. (There are not many requirements, mind you, but being able to make basic points about things without throwing yourself around the room in a frothing panic every last time would seem to be a big one.) Unfortunately, "coherent" is one of those things that will get your ass primaried out of office, if you are a Republican, so that we can have more Steve Kings and Louie Gohmerts and Michele Bachmanns and every last Republican candidate in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, the Dakotas and Takeyourpick. Fine, so we won't be getting statesmen, not this time around. Could we make a deal with our conservative brethren to at least try to be governed by people who don't spit when they talk?