Conservatives are delusional. Really. The things I hear them say remind me of things one used to only hear from people in the militia movement or among the most extreme libertarians.
Today’s example comes from Mike Huckabee at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit. But before we get to that, just consider that name “freedom summit.” Who isn’t in favor of freedom? Listening to conservatives, you would think that freedom is something that they alone believe in. But just like everyone, conservatives have their own definition of freedom. The truth is that the word is a dog whistle. It means the freedom of large scale farmers to graze their cattle on public land without paying. It does not mean the freedom for minority group individuals to walk down the street without being searched by the police.
And that brings us to Huckabee’s comments. He said, “My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States.” And what made the United States less free than North Korea? Airport screening. And not just that! He’s very unhappy that people have to show identification to get on an airplane. Oh, the horror! I can see what he means, though. As an ordinary person in North Korea, you would never even get to fly in a plane, so you would never have to deal with airport security. That’s freedom! Never mind the starvation and work camps. In the United States, you have to show ID to get on a plane!
While that line is the one that will get all the news, the broader point that Huckabee was making was even more troubling. He went on:
Since Huckabee doesn’t seem to understand why this is, I will provide a little history for him. At one time, people didn’t get searched when they got on airplanes. But then people started hijacking airplanes and so it was decided that the intrusions of searches were acceptable given that no one wanted to be hijacked and potentially murdered. As for voting, well, we’ve never had to have identification and no one had thought to change that because there was no upside. There is no voter identification fraud to speak of. People like Huckabee are interested in making ID required as a way of suppressing the vote of people who don’t agree with them. But that’s another thing altogether.
There is a very big issue here. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say, “Congress shall make no law respecting security at airports.” But voting is a Constitutional right. So it isn’t really the same thing. Note also the classism here. Poor people don’t fly on planes all the much. But the rich do. So I’m sure that for Huckabee, those airport screenings seem like a major infringement on his liberty. And they are! But that’s just an indication of how great his life is. Other than a TSA pat-down, he can do whatever he wants. But like vile conservatives everywhere, he wants to make the very limited rights of the poor even more so.
This is why I say that conservatives are delusional.