Mark My Words: Republican Rhetoric is Racing to the Bottom

Over the weekend, in a speech delivered to the Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann caught those in attendance off guard when she informed them that New Hampshire was “the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.”

Rather than own up to her mistake (both Lexington and Concord are in Massachusetts) and move on, Rep. Bachmann instead blamed the media for blowing her ignorance of American history out of proportion. “This is just what we get,” said Rep. Bachmann, when “the 3,400 members of the mainstream media are a part of the Obama press contingent.”

Respectfully Rep. Bachmann, I disagree. This is what we get when the most vocal “patriots” focus on political gain rather than honoring our political traditions and shared history. This is what we get when our elected leaders throw unsubstantiated rhetoric at the opposing party rather than make intelligible arguments based on fact and policy.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a new development. In the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2008 election, anti-intellectualism and the general dumbing-down of political discourse was one of many factors pointed to as a cause of the Republican party’s disastrous results. Unfortunately, rather than attempting to right the ship, the Republican party doubled-down.