The Oklahoma primaries are a week from today and for the most part democrats have decided to not waste their time and money by running for office. Indeed in this the reddest of red states the entire local government is in the hands of a pack of baying right wing wolves. They are creatures so perfectly convinced of their righteousness and patriotism that when challenged on any issue their faces swell, veins bulge, and drool forms at the corners of their mouths. They begin to bellow and thump their chests and use terms like "liberal pansies", "communist traitors," and "filthy socialists."
When people see this phenomenon in person for the first time many come to the conclusion that spontaneous human combustion is not only a possibility, but a probability.
I don't have the stats in front of me, but even a casual glance at state legislative races show that republicans are falling all over themselves trying to get into office while democratic challengers are few and far between. Who can blame them really? Being a democrat in Oklahoma right now is rather like being an escapee from a leper colony.
The only entertainment value in this round of state elections is the odd sight watching republicans attack each other. They spend much of their time claiming to be the most conservative of conservatives. They attempt to paint their fellow GOP candidates as somehow too far left. They go off on riffs about how they hate Barak Obama more than every other person in the world. They promise to turn back the socialist tide of universal health care. They are a bit vague on how a state representative from say Guymon can do that, but hey, to a true believer the message, not the means is everything.
Seeing all this hysteria is to understand how some monstrous little cretin like Adolph Hitler took control in Germany and the ayatollahs grabbed power Iran. It is politics as a religious movement. It is a wave of arch conservative evangelism that before television was confined to musty smelling tents in the hills of Pushmataha County. It is a great leap back into a fictional time. It is a revision of all history so Orwellian in nature that it simply takes the breath away.
Suddenly all the founding fathers were evangelicals who based this country solely on the bible. The Great Depression would have ended sooner if FDR had just left things alone. In fact and this was years ago, the local daily paper ran a political cartoon blaming Roosevelt for starting the second world war. Later on down the road Bill and Hillary personally killed Vince Foster. John Kerry didn't deserve his medals. Now the president is foreign born and yes, yes, we know the great recession started under Bush, but just let us run things again and we'll fix it.
They are white and are watching their race become a minority. Anger and hatred are their mediums. And in Oklahoma they are in absolute control.
So why exactly will I take the time to show up at the polls next Tuesday when my choices are severely limited? Indeed, why even go in November, when my ballot cast for Barak Obama will mean nothing thanks to the electoral college?
Maybe it is that tiny bit of Rhett Butler in me. That part that says to Scarlet O'Hara something along the lines of, "I don't join lost causes until they are really lost." That might be it.
The truth is probably closer to this: I just want the vicious sons of bitches to know it isn't unanimous in this state. At least not yet. At least not as long as I'm here.