Okay, it's not as though Canada doesn't have its fair share of nutjobs in high office, the type who believe man walked with dinosaurs, the earth is 6,000 years old and that god is going to Rapture them up to heaven just as soon as they can trigger Armageddon in the Holy Land. We do. We call them the Conservative government.
But somehow Canada's political, lunatic fringe just doesn't come up to the standards of America's. Down there, "moron" seems to be a prized qualification for high office. Think of Dan Quayle. He made it to the vice presidency. He was one assassin's bullet away from having his finger on the nuclear trigger.
Then there's Sarah Palin whose entire body of political thought is scribbled on the palm of her hand. She can say just about anything (and she does) without denting her political support base. She lies and fudges and just makes shit up - and it doesn't matter. Now Sarah is the patron saint of the Tea Party movement, a phenomenon that conveniently opened up for her just in time for her 2012 presidential campaign.
Another prominent voice of the Tea Party movement is the Ditz from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell. She's the Republican candidate contesting the senate seat formerly held by Joe Biden. Yesterday she debated her Democratic opponent at a Delaware law school. O'Donnell rocked the house when she attacked her rival for claiming the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provided for the separation of church and state. From The Guardian:
O'Donnell asked: "Where in the constitution is the separation of church and state?"
Not only is the first amendment perhaps the most famous part of the constitution but the "establishment clause", as it is known, is the subject of legal precedent stretching back into the 19th century. No less an authority than Thomas Jefferson declared the clause's aim to build "a wall of separation between church and state".
Christine O'Donnell is a living, breathing gaffe. She has been all her life. There was a time when people as dumb as O'Donnell might be sleeping in the public square or sweeping the public square but would never, ever be found speaking in the public square.
Should politics really be an equal opportunity employer for the ignorant? No, it shouldn't. There's simply too much at stake today to line our legislatures with the ignorant, the wilfully obtuse or those who want to lash our societies tightly to their religious fantasies. You don't have to be highly educated to have wisdom but you ought to have demonstrated, proven wisdom to have your name placed on a ballot. It's like the computer guys say, "garbage in, garbage out."
Now I realize I may be sounding like an elitist. Well, I am. I want the best and brightest to hold the offices where we need the best and brightest. As I said earlier, that doesn't necessarily mean the most highly educated. I've known plenty of highly educated people who, frankly, couldn't find their ass with both hands.
While I'm on the subject I also want those offices completely off-limits to those jackasses who want to inject their religious myths into my country's laws, my way of life. That's simply subversive. If they want to form a theocratic party, why do they lurk in the shadows of what are supposed to be secular, inclusive political institutions?
I do hold religious views, beliefs if you will. But my religious beliefs are no more and no less valid than any held by radical fundamentalists of any stripe. My religious beliefs have no place being interwoven into the fabric of my nation. Neither do theirs.