If you’ve ever heard and watched a raven or a crow talk, you get the impression that they understand the noises they make mean something, but they’re not necessarily sure what. Ravens and crows are song birds, after all, and among the smartest birds in the world by any metric; anyone who’s ever had a raven dump snow on their head as a prank or seen them punk wolves knows these birds are uncannily creative and intelligent.
While Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is far and away less intelligent than the typical member of Corvus corax, when he makes noises that resemble words, you get the same impression: he knows they mean something, he’s just not sure what. As a case in point, while rambling on Whirled Nut Daily’s Radio America this weekend, he blamed the American people for allowing Obama to turn the United States into “a totalitarian, dictatorial-type country.”
According to Gohmert, he’s heard people say that “maybe we just need a good, caring dictator,” and this apathy is what’s allowing the President to turn America into a totalitarian state with executive actions.
Yes, it sounds like a temper tantrum from people who can’t get their way no matter how hard they try anymore. But it’s totally not, guys, and only a librrrrrral (roll the ‘r’ with a mix of equal parts spite, racism, ignorance, and patriotism for maximum effect) would believe:
Unfortunately, when you have 50 percent of the American people who are saying, ‘Hey, we’re okay with not having checks and balances in our government,’ it’s a way you lose a country.
If we allow the president to continue this kind of lawlessness, there will not be a republic, we’ll be morphing over into more of a totalitarian, dictatorial type country. And that’s what normally happens when you have a representative form of government, people get apathetic and forget to notice the things that kept it representative, and people start saying what I’ve heard people in America say: ‘Well, maybe we just need a good, caring dictator to clean things up and then we can go back to a democracy.’
In Gohmert’s world, being a republic somehow means you can’t be a totalitarian state. Nobody ever told him that the Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta and the Serenissima Repubblica di Genova were still republics even when they were ruled by an autocratic doge — and not the Internet meme, either; depending on where you were from in Italy, this was pronounced/spelled “doge” [ˈdɔːdʒe] (General Italian), doxe [ˈdɔːze] (Venetian), or duxe [dyːʒe] (Genoese), and yes, it shares the same root with “duke.” In fact, the “Most Serene Republic” (serenìsima repùblica/serenissima repubblica) emphasizes the independence and sovereignty of the state as a republic — despite the ruler being an autocrat.
You run afoul this a lot on the right. They seem to think that the world “republic” means something special: “We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic,” which is said like a child who just learned a new word and wants to appear intelligent using it. A republic, speaking generally, is any government not headed by a monarchy. The word they want is a liberal republic, which is what the United States is, but God forbid the word liberal cross their lips with anything but the utmost disgust and contempt associated with it.
Of course, Obama’s executive orders are not a threat to checks and balances or to our liberal republic, and they’re not turning the country into a dictatorship. This is pure demagoguery on Gohmert’s part — and I’m not entirely convinced he knows what that word means, either.
Listen to the remarks below: