The GOP, especially its MAGA wing, will tell you government is too big, government “overreaches” by making and enforcing laws that restrict freedom (by their definition of freedom, which trust me, I WILL get to.) They want SMALL GOVERNMENT. LOCAL CONTROL. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. FREEDOM. That they also claim to be in favor of law & order is a contradiction they ignore by defining “law and order” in a way that excludes the laws they don’t want to obey, and adds any laws they want *others* to obey.
And then they get control of a state legislature, and do they legislate like people who want SMALL GOVERNMENT, LOCAL CONTROL, INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, FREEDOM?
No. They do not.
Universally, GOP state governments pursue draconian policies that make the state the master of individuals, towns, cities, counties…any size below state level. If there’s a state law that landlords must evict a tenant whose relative (of a certain degree) is a convicted criminal, then no one else–not the landlord, not the local town–can allow that person–who has NOT been convicted of a crime, and whose relative does not live with them–to live in that house, or any rented house or apartment. If there’s a state law that businesses storing large amounts of dangerous materials don’t have to tell the local government…then the local government can’t demand to know (even after a disaster involving those materials.) If a manufacturer isn’t required to report dumping toxic materials into the water supply, no other level of government can intervene. They’re happy to tell the entire state’s school districts what texts they can and can’t use, what they can and can’t teach, in great detail. They’re happy to tell every person with a uterus that she had no right to control what goes into it (some barring barrier contraception, others any contraception) or to take anything out of it that they define as “a person” (starting with the fertilized egg.) They’re willing to see persons with uteruses die because they aren’t allowed to be treated with anything that might, under any circumstances, count (in their little minds) as abortion. They’re willing to tell others the freedoms they cannot have–to come into the country, to travel between states, to criticize them…and willing to allow their own the license to break laws on the grounds those laws shouldn’t apply to them.
And–as events in Florida showed in this election–GOP states are eager to insist they don’t have to let national laws get in their way–they can exclude federal authorities–including federal law enforcement–from investigating breaches of the law they oppose. Such as, for instance, laws that were written to protect voters, and ensure elections uncontaminated by hanky-panky in the voting sites. Such hanky-panky was common before the Civil Rights Act, because it made excluding dark-skinned people from voting easy.
I’m filling out a bunch of forms that, some twenty years ago, were half the length they are now. They have more questions to answer now. They have more “state requirements” created by the very people who claim to hate government regulation…except when it suits them. About four years ago, they added a whole new level of regulation (state level) with a new administrative structure for it.
Freedom, to them, means their freedom to control other people. Other people are, in their definition, EVIL and don’t deserve any personal freedoms or rights. They, being the right kind of Christian (they think) must be free to bring on the apocalypse because they’re tired of waiting.
I’ve spent too much time on this today, in short snatches between the other things of the day