It never ceases to amaze me just how absolutely fucking crazy it's gotten out there. You'd think that by now -- after Tea Baggers, Birthers, "death panels," Glenn Beck's warnings of the encroaching commie threat to our precious bodily fluids, etc. -- that I'd be used to whatever shameless absurdity the apoplectic right sees fit to conjure out of thin air these days. But, no, they just keep turning up the burner of weird-and-dangerous so far past the boiling point that all the water's evaporated and the pot itself is just about on fire.
The latest example: The Oath Keepers.
Not to be confused with Pop Christianity's gift to snarky assholes everywhere, the "Promise Keepers," the Oath Keepers are a group of military vets and ex-law enforcement officers who've banded together to once again rise up and defend the supposedly core values of our beloved country during this time of great crisis. These values, as set forth by our now officially invoked-to-death forefathers, are the standard-issue litany of paranoid white guy t-shirt slogans: an almost sexual obsession with guns, state sovereignty, fear and suspicion of the federal government, watering the tree of liberty with blood every so often -- the kind of overarching, largely irrational belief system adhered to by just about anyone who subscribes to Soldier of Fortune magazine. As for the crisis currently afflicting the country that was once America, do I really even need to bother spelling it out at this point? Is there anyone out there not keenly aware of the ever-growing stable of ridiculous boogeymen created and perpetuated by the pants-wetting right these days?
So just what oaths are the Oath Keepers taking an oath to keep?
Try these on for size -- from the group's website:
"1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people.
3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as 'unlawful enemy combatants' or to subject them to military tribunal.
4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a 'state of emergency' on a state.
5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to 'keep the peace' or to 'maintain control.'
9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances."
All I can say is, thank God for the Oath Keepers -- otherwise we'd all be disarmed and in U.N.-controlled concentration camps right now.
Jesus freakin' Christ -- these clowns may as well be saying, "We will NOT aid the Majestic Consortium in its plan to deliver an extraterrestrial virus to the American population through Africanized bees, leading to the spontaneous colonization of the planet." That's how likely any of the paranoid whack-job conspiracy theories the Oath Keepers espouse is to ever actually come true. Once again, thank God these ex-law enforcement specialists are on the case to defend us from absolutely fucking nothing.
Now before you go thinking that I just trolled the fringes of the internet looking for a band of crazies this crazy, and that the Oath Keepers wouldn't cross the mind of anyone with an IQ larger than a fruit salad's, MSNBC's own Grandpa Caligula -- Pat Buchanan -- wrote an entire column for WorldnetDaily.com yesterday praising the group's efforts. Sure, Buchanan's a fucking racist reactionary (the subtle, not-at-all-inflammatory title of his Worldnet piece is "Traditional Americans are Losing Their Nation") but he's also, inexplicably, a member of the supposedly mainstream media -- or at the very least their invited guest. And so, with a couple of keystrokes from a skeletal hand, the Oath Keepers go from being extremist basement-dwellers to genuine players -- stepping up to a seat at the big kids' table with the likes of all the other conspiracist lunatics whose opinions have somehow been lent undue credence by a conflict-addicted media and a right wing that's completely lost its mind after losing the White House.
I've said it many times before but it bears repeating over and over again: Where will all of this end? Not when, since I'm not sure it will on its own -- where?
All this unfocused rage, completely immune to logic and reason, has to go somewhere -- and where it sometimes seems to be headed just scares the hell out of me.