News flash: The Republican Party is not the Daddy Party. It’s the Crazy Uncle party:
In February, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sent out an urgent message to his supporters. The subject was the United Nations Small Arms Treaty, a pact under consideration by the UN that would wipe out Americans’ Second Amendment rights. If it were to be ratified by the Senate, Paul wrote, it would allow the government to “CONFISCATE and DESTROY ALL ‘unauthorized’ civilian firearms.” And that would be just the beginning. Once implemented, the treaty it would mandate that all guns be registered with the international body, paving the way for “full-scale gun CONFISCATION.”
Wow that sounds really bad! And also a little crazy! Turns out Paul forgot to check Snopes, which debunked this SPAM e-mail conspiracy waaaay back in spring 2010.
This would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Many years ago when I worked in the communications office of a national recreation area, I got a call from a crackpot AM radio host. He asked if I would go on the air and talk to his listeners about how the recreation area was under the jurisdiction and governance of the United Nations.
I was dumbfounded. “What the hell are you talking about?” I asked.
He went on to explain that because a portion of the recreation area was a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve — something we thought of as an honor, fer crissakes — it was not subject to U.S. law but was instead subject to United Nations authority. Having helped put together all sorts of talking points for our director’s annual
begging trip budget request before Congress, I knew this was ridiculous. I just laughed at the guy and said no thanks and hung up.
This was about 17 years ago, long before I knew about black helicopters and tinfoil hats. These ideas were on the fringe, they were written off with a laugh and a chuckle, maybe even a “bless his heart.”
And now we have a sitting United States Senator promoting this crap because he’s too lame to hit Snopes.com. He’s going to believe whatever the National Association for Gun Rights — a group to the right of the NRA — tells him. What a state of affairs this is.
Rand Paul is an idiot and a crackpot, and he should be mocked for his stupidity. But we should all be worried. As David Sirota writes in Salon today, our country is run by psychopaths and sociopaths:
The first revelation came from Dr. Nassir Ghaemi of Tufts University. In his recent book, “A First-Rate Madness,” he went beyond merely restating the old adage that anyone crazy enough to run for public office probably shouldn’t occupy that office. Instead, the book sheds light on what Ghaemi calls an “inverse law of sanity,” whereby tumultuous times like these actually reward and promote political figures who are “mentally abnormal [or] even ill.”
Now comes a new study from Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen showing that the most successful of the global financial elite probably pose more of a menace to society than known psychopaths.
As the website Newser reported, the researchers “pitted a group of stockbrokers against a group of actual psychopaths in various computer simulations and intelligence tests and found that the money men were significantly more reckless, competitive and manipulative.” Even more striking, the researchers note that achieving overall success was less important to the stock speculators than the sadistic drive “to damage their opponents.”
Do you really think Rand Paul signed on to that letter because he believed United Nations goons were going to take everyone’s guns as soon as the U.S. Senate voted on a non-existent piece of legislation? I mean, you’d think a member of the Senate would have at least asked if such a piece of legislation was coming up for a vote, no?
Or was he just exhibiting that “sadistic drive” to damage the opposition?
As always, we’re left with the “stupid or evil” question.
Honestly, does it even matter?