Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 9:14 am | Overcast 69º

 
 
 
 

Jim Hightower: The Scariest Thing About Political Fearmongers Is Themselves

One thing you can say about Rick Perry is that he sticks to his guns. If one of his policy proposals turns out to be dumb, by gollies, he will double down on dumb.

For example, in his current re-run for the GOP presidential nomination, the "Oops" governor has repositioned himself as an expert on border security. As such, he milked a lot of political PR out of this summer's surge of migrant children crossing our southern border illegally. Never mind that they were desperate to escape the abject poverty, rapes, murders and gang cultures that confronted them every day in their Central American homelands, Perry used their plight as a chance to foment fear and pose as a superhero "seal the border" candidate.

Perry was on Fox News howling for federal troops, declaring that, "This is a natural disaster," and putting himself in front of the tea party fear brigade that was screeching about Ebola virus and the other pandemic diseases these wretched urchins might bring in.

But, darn it, the surge of young migrants was coming to an end ... and so was Perry's dumb rationale for slamming and locking our nation's southwest door. No problem for Rick, though — he simply reached for dumber. Instead of children, his latest bugaboo is — believe it or not — Islamic terrorists.

In August, Perry warned that murderous militants from the ISIS "could be" penetrating into the United States from Mexico. Could be? Well, he conceded, there's "no clear evidence" of it — but BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID! The "expert" said that people "from countries with terrorist ties" are crossing into our country. Really? Yes, he said, citing "three individuals from Ukraine" who were caught. Uh, Rick ... Ukraine is not a country "with terrorist ties."

Never mind the facts; he went on to scold President Barack Obama for failure to put more border agents in place and use unmanned drones to bolster security there. Apparently no one told the newly minted border expert that Obama proposed those same measures last year, but Perry's fellow Republicans killed the bill.

Perry is scary. And what's worse, he thinks he is presidential material. But he is not the only bonehead on the loose, regurgitating their own paranoia and propaganda to advance their doleful agenda of fear.

Take Duncan Hunter ... please! This self-promoting bozo of a Congress critter constantly goes off louder than a car alarm on the fritz, honking and squealing about some bugaboo he's dreamed up. In a recent Fox News episode, the far-right California congressman was in full-panic mode, wailing that Islamic State terrorists were entering our country from Mexico, "ISIS is coming across the Southern border," he panted. "I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas," he breathlessly asserted, adding sternly that while the 10 got caught, "you know there's going to be dozens more that did not get caught."

Really? How does he know that? Mr. Fearmongerer won't say, refusing to reveal his "sources." Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security calls his claim of an ISIS intrusion from Mexico "categorically false ... not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground."

Of course, facts are not a shield against right-wing delusions, and Hunter is not about to believe anything said by Homeland officials working in the administration of the man he considers Satan incarnate, Obama. But — oopsy-daisy — the Republican-led Department of Public Safety in Texas also looked into his foam-at-the-mouth warnings, reporting in an email to state legislators that "DPS does not have any information to confirm (Hunter's) specific statements."

It's embarrassing to learn that boneheads like this are actually taking up space in the United States Congress. No wonder they never get anything done. Duncan shouldn't be in Congress — he ought to be sitting in a dunking booth at a state fair. Next the Perry-Duncan team will warn us that Ebola-infected Islamic terrorists are sneaking across the border carrying weapons of mass destruction!

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @JimHightower, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >