Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert recently responded to criticism of Republican proposals that would savagely cut food stamps by explaining that “some poor people are obese, and this will help them.”
Okay–I guess I can understand really dumb people who also lack compassion or the intelligence to refrain from embarrassing themselves. I don’t understand the voters who elect them.
Pathetic, for sure. But for pure evil, Louie (once called “the dumbest mammal to enter a legislative chamber since Caligula’s horse”) has been eclipsed by the current Texas Attorney General, who has initiated a lawsuit against the federal government over the definition of the word ‘spouse’ as it’s defined post-Windsor by the Department of Labor. The suit alleges that allowing the federal government to define same-sex partners as spouses threatens “imminent” harm to the Great State of Texas.
This degree of hate is hard to understand. But scholars have tried.
In the wake of President Truman’s 1948 order integrating the armed forces, pioneering social psychologist Gordon Allport wrote a book titled The Nature of Prejudice. Allport distinguished between two kinds of bigotry– negative social attitudes that can be changed by education and increased contact with members of the disfavored group, and the desperate, twisted hatred that Paxton’s actions exhibit, and that erupted after Obama’s election.
People in the latter group have a deep-seated psychological need to hate, and their stereotypes about the objects of that hatred are impervious to evidence. They are deeply damaged beings.
I might be able to muster up some measure of sympathy for these disordered folks, if we’d stop electing them.