With all the talk about what a flagrantly racist, unapologetically misogynistic, constantly lying, gleefully cheating, small-business-ruining, contract-breaking, bankruptcy-declaring, ignorance-espousing, lawsuit-dodging, tax-evading, troop-disparaging serial divorce-enthusiast Donald J. Trump is, it’s perilously easy to overlook the fact that his barely-in-the-closet lackey is a homophobe of the highest order, a religious zealot on a level that would make even a Mormon blush, and a die-hard enemy of women’s rights who is, in reality, a far-scarier prospect than Trump, himself. To put it another way, Mike Pence may well be the dark Sith Lord to Trump’s Darth Vader. What’s worse is that there is a very real possibility that the endgame of the Republican Party is to leverage Trump’s unexpected popularity to pull a pump-fake on the electorate and sneak in a candidate that makes Ronald Reagan’s Golden Age of conservatism look like free kombucha day at the Berkeley farmer’s market. It’s a conceivable outcome, and you should be freaking out right now.
One of the favorite catchphrases of the Right, when trying to leverage and inspire fear and loathing for outsiders in order to push their conservative agenda, has long been, “They hate us for our freedom.” And while the validity of that statement may be arguable, anyone more worried about the threat of foreign terrorists than they are about the very real erosion of domestic civil liberties proposed by this idiot, is living, breathing evidence of the nascent victory of terrorism, itself. This guy wants to roll back pretty much all of the freedoms for which “they” hate us. You know, classic Leftist Utopian stuff like the right of gay people to breathe, the right of women to decide how many people can live inside their own bodies, the right of people not to worship an ancient invisible space-wizard in a state-sponsored mandatory prayer gulag. That sort of thing. Now ostensibly, ISIS (and similar extremist Islamic groups) and Christian fundamentalists are at war. They’ve publicly stated as much for thousands of years. But the thing is, they’re really not all that dissimilar. I’ll put it simply. ISIS and the extreme Right (for whom Pence is a wet dream of a poster child) are like burritos and tacos. On the surface, they appear to be different, sure. They’re different shapes and different sizes…they come in different containers. But on the inside, the ingredients are essentially the same. Look it up, if you don’t believe me. Their ideologies stem from the same original trilogy, and they all believe, more or less, in literal interpretations of the same ancient rules. No rights for women, no rights for gays (or anyone else who is not a straight male with money, really), the formal integration of church and state, and so on. And, unsurprisingly, neither believe in climate change, or much of anything else related to science. Take away the wardrobes, beard length and skin color variation, and there’s not a whole lot of difference. [Read more…] about Is Mike Pence the True Sith Lord?