You're currently reading an archived version of Jim Hightower's work.
The latest (and greatest?) observations from Jim Hightower are only now available at our Substack website. Join us there!
An old political saying notes that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing. However, given the proliferation of today’s goofball culture wars and fanatical right-wing phobias, that truism should be updated to say: Evil swarms when power-hungry leaders unleash the crazies.
Which brings us to the US House of Representatives, now led by a run-of-the-mill corporate Republican, Kevin McCarthy. He’s always been a crassly-ambitious political climber untethered to any moral principle larger than his own ego, so he’s not trusted, even by GOP lawmakers. Indeed, in an almost-comical public spectacle, it took four days and 15 rounds of voting in January before Kevin cut enough desperate deals to get the slimmest majority of his own Republican colleagues to make him speaker of the House.
Enjoying Hightower's work? Join us over at our new home on Substack:
To squeak out his win, though, he had to hand big chunks of his official power to a gaggle of extremist, far-right-wing legislators who are – in a word – BONKERS. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and other members of the GOP’s Kooky Kaucus promote unhinged QAnon conspiracy theories, warn that Jews are firing lasers from outer space to start wildfires, lionize Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, call for the execution of Democratic leaders, and insist that the government is staging school shootings as an excuse to outlaw guns.
Okay, they’re nuts. And politics makes strange bedfellows. But McCarthy has not just climbed into bed with them, he’s snuggling up tightly, naming them to powerful committees, publicly legitimizing their screwballism, and intentionally bringing the evil of bigotry, intolerance, and even fascism in from the fringe of politics – to sit in the seat of power.
That’s not merely ridiculous and shameful, it’s dangerous. Evil swarms whenever so-called leaders meekly give permission for crazies to use government power to rule over us.