This may surprise my readers who know that I lean toward the political left in my social and economic belief system, but the popularity of Representative Michelle Bachmann, and others of her ilk, is not her fault. She is not responsible for the voice she has gained on the national stage. The responsibility rests in our hands.
As Americans, we choose to whom we listen. We have selective hearing when it comes to national candidates. We buy newspapers that have her name on them. We listen to the news when commentators discuss her politics. We click on the links to her interviews. We are wholly in the driver’s seat of giving Bachmann a sounding board on the national stage.
If we are unhappy that this candidate has free rein to blather on that evolution and global warming are in dispute, or that she would rather not discuss the ability to cure gay folks of their disorder of homosexuality after she wrote about it in her book, then we must stop paying attention. If the only people who listen are the relatively tiny number of Tea Party supporters, she will never win an election; but listen we continue to do.
I happen to believe in evolution and that it was the process through which God created the world. I am aware that scientists have been wrong in the past and that they speak the most accurate truth they have available to them today. I believe that there are differences in cultures and that all cultures are equal and valid. I also believe that polarity does not make either side wholly correct or wrong. I believe that knowledge and wisdom will direct us toward a middle path.
When Ross Perot ran as an Independent for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996, he was considered by many to be too “out there” for the mass consciousness; however, he did garner 29% of the vote. He had radical, but workable ideas for the economy and understood the machinations of government. In contrast, Bachmann, and all the Bachmann-lights that have appeared on our political landscape are contenders for our highest office in a major party. These individuals have a similar level of scientific understanding as the members of the Flat Earth Society, yet they continue to flourish. How is this even possible?
When they look back on this era, what will historians write about our politics? Will we have had Michelle Bachmann as the 45th President of the United States? Will the medical research laboratories in America shut down because she wouldn’t fund research that didn’t fit through the narrow filter of extremist right wing beliefs? Will people say of us the same thing they say about the German population who followed Adolf Hitler during the 1930s and ’40s: that we just didn’t choose to see what was ahead, or were too afraid to have our voices heard?
The truth is that we are giving credence to an ignoramus who does not understand history, economics, and science. She is not an ignoramus because of her beliefs, but because she chooses not to learn what every person who inhabits the White House should know; that she represents all Americans, not just a select few. We are validating her presence on the national stage whenever we do not turn off the television when she is on. Viewership is money in the hands of the media. When the dollars disappear, so does Michelle Bachmann.
Michelle Bachmann spoke this direct quote, “I just take the Bible for what it is, I guess, and recognize I’m not a scientist, not trained to be a scientist. I’m not a deep thinker on all of this. I wish I was. I wish I was more knowledgeable, but I’m not a scientist.”
If I’ve learned nothing else in my life, I’ve learned to believe what people tell me about themselves. I don’t listen to people who admit they don’t know. I don’t trust people who tell me they have a history of being untrustworthy. I don’t spend time with people who show me they do not respect me. I turn off the television and don’t click on online links when Michelle Bachmann is the topic. It’s that simple.
So, if we find Mrs. Bachmann in the White House, who should we turn to when American’s can’t feed themselves even though they’re working, because Bachmann believes that “if we took away the minimum wage – if conceivably it was gone – we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level,” and racial inequality grows under her administration because she believes that “not all cultures are equal?” We must look in our own mirrors to find the responsible parties, as we do after every election. That is why this will be my last word on Michelle Bachmann. I choose not to give any more of my time or energy toward her presence in the political whirlpool.
If we find her in our White House, it won’t be Michelle Bachmann’s fault, it will be our own.