November 29, 2012
Zach Wahls:
You’ve probably heard of David Barton, even if you don’t recognize the name. He’s Glenn Beck’s favorite “historian.” Mr. Barton has been responsible for a number of outlandish claims over the years. Most recently, he is leading the charge for an American right that is outright denying reality when it comes to the nation’s move toward approving gay marriage. Barton recently said on his radio program that the Minnesota vote to create a state amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman “it almost went down, it was like a 50-50 prop.” Except, of course, that the amendment did lose, and according to the Minnesota secretary of state it lost by a five-point spread. The final count was approximately 47.5% to 52.5%. This episode should be surprising. But it isn’t. Some elements of the American right have so far removed themselves from the mainstream—from reality—that even after the electoral dust has settled, they’ve been so effectively convinced that the end is nigh they are outright denying the laws of the land. This is the inevitable problem with doomsday rhetoric so popular on the right: if and when you finally lose, a loss is unacceptable. It is catastrophic to the point of impossibility.