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Opinion | Government for the stupid

The people you elected think you’re too stupid to realize that they’re not actually doing anything.

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They think you’re stupid. 

That has to be true. There is no other explanation. There is no alternative fact that fits. 

The guys you sent to Montgomery to represent you – at least 31 of them, and probably more, if we’re honest – think you’re an imbecile. They think you’re so brain-dead stupid that they – not exactly MENSA members themselves – can put forth the absolute minimum amount of effort to pander to your fears and biases and that you’ll fall for it hook, line and LGBTQ sinker. 

If you doubt this, you, like most sane individuals, did not watch last week’s meeting of the Alabama House’s State Government Committee, and the public hearing for HB385. 

That bill purports to change the definition of “sexual conduct,” add libraries and librarians to the list of entities subject to criminal penalties for the production of “obscene materials,” and make distribution of obscene materials to minors a public nuisance. 

To put that in simpler terms: it wants to jail librarians for allowing kids to read books about gay people. 

The bill’s primary sponsor is Rep. Arnold Mooney. He has 30 co-sponsors, including the House Speaker. All of them watched “Footloose” and were disappointed when the kids got to dance. 

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Also, it doesn’t appear as if any of them actually read the bill they were sponsoring. But, hey, it wouldn’t be pandering if they weren’t half-assing it to start with. 

During the aforementioned public hearing, as reported by APR’s Jacob Holmes, Mooney sought to describe the specific benefits of his bill. Like that it prohibits libraries from accepting donated materials that contain sexual content. Or that it prohibits libraries from affiliating with the American Library Association. 

Except it doesn’t do either of those things. 

The name “American Library Association” doesn’t even appear in the bill. And there is nothing in the bill about donated materials. 

But, again, come on, y’all, if they have to actually read the bills they sponsor, this job just gets too hard. And besides, you goobers will believe anything. 

I mean, if you’d believe that it’s a librarian’s job to keep your kids from reading certain books, well, you probably aren’t reading much either. And really, does it matter if this stuff isn’t actually in the bill if you all believe that is? 

Think of it like the Bible. Y’all believe all sorts of stuff is in that book that really isn’t. Same thing here. 

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Also, they’d like it a lot if you’d also believe that they’re protecting your children. And they’re saying that with a straight face. 

No, not from the things actually harming them, of course. Like, you know, not from a subpar education system. Not from a pathetic rural health care system. Not from sexually transmitted diseases. Not from being one of the nation’s deadliest gun states. Not from a third-world level infant mortality rate. Not from a somehow-even-worse maternal mortality rate. 

No. No. No. 

From books. 

You know … the real threat. The for-sure thing that you and your significant other lie awake at night worrying about.  

Books. 

Oh, and transgender people existing. 

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The House Majority Leader was worried about that. Scott Stadthagen actually said out loud that children seeing “a man showing himself as an opposite gender” is “grooming” children. And he said it because “grooming” and “opposite gender” are words that focus groups have told empty-headed politicians they can use to scare base voters into believing that they’re doing something. 

Because, again, they think you’re stupid. So stupid that you’ll be afraid of people who are just existing. So stupid that you’ll forget that you’ve seen “MASH” or “Tootsie” or “Mrs. Doubtfire” or so stupid that you’re just as stupidly afraid of anyone who lives, loves or behaves differently. So stupid that you don’t know what the word “grooming” means. 

So stupid that you’ll forget that they tried most of this a year ago … but back then the boogeymen trying to “groom” your kids were drag queens. 

No kidding. Mooney wanted to change the definition of “sexual conduct” last year, too. Only then, his target was drag shows. Now, it’s libraries and schools.

The definition changes were the same, though: “Any sexual or gender oriented material that knowingly exposes minors to persons who are dressed in sexually revealing, exaggerated, or provocative clothing or costumes, or are stripping, or engaged in lewd or lascivious dancing, presentations, or activities….”

Welp, there goes all cheerleader dance routines. At every school. And cheerleading in general. And most dances. And swimming. And … well, you get the idea. 

But hey, no price is too large to protect our children from this totally made-up thing that no normal parent has ever really spent 10 seconds worrying about. 

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So long as you’re too stupid to realize what’s actually going on.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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