BY KENNY BELFORD
Without a radical shift in attitude, and soon, Oklahoma is going to become doomed. We’ve elevated loons to key positions all across our state and we’ve given them power to influence and direct policies impacting all of us, with the apparent consensus of the population.
Every week seems to bring more news of quality jobs departing Oklahoma, and nothing is on the horizon to offset that news. Wonder why?
Imagine you’re a CEO of a corporation looking to relocate, or expand operations, or a corporation attempting to make a decision on which locations to downsize or eliminate. As your staff performs the due diligence research they report back the following:
1. Both of Oklahoma’s U.S. senators belong to a secret religious cult that teaches them they’re above all normal societal constraints, because they’re among “the chosen.” Apparently their electorate doesn’t support the concept of “all men are created equal,” since both senators have exceptionally high approval ratings.
2. One of the senators is America’s leading science denier.
3. The other senator served the role as a pimp as he attempted to negotiate the fee for after the fact sex for one of his fellow cult members. He was first elected to the Senate campaigning on the perils of “rampant lesbianism in southeast Oklahoma public schools.”
4. Recently one member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation stood on a Capitol balcony cheering on teabaggers as they spit on and yelled “n—–” at Black members of Congress attempting to enter the building. This member of congress is currently the leading Republican candidate for governor.
5. The state legislature is obsessed with guns. In recent months they’ve attempted to pass laws allowing college kids to bring guns with them to the classroom. They attempted to pass laws allowing citizens to strap on six-shooters [think of Gunsmoke] before heading out for a shopping excursion to Wal-Mart.
6. Government officials in Oklahoma are obsessed with gays. One state legislator has claimed “gays are more of a threat to America than terrorists.” Recently the state Legislature debated a proposed law that would make it a criminal offense for any member of Oklahoma law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities investigating a hate crime. That piece of legislation was authored after gays were added, giving them protection under existing federal law.
7. Under Republican control in the House and Senate, funds have been slashed for education and social programs. Oklahoma currently ranks at or near the bottom on most lists of quality of life measurements.
8. Although the portion of the Constitution referencing separation of church and state is centuries old established law of the land, Oklahoma elected officials repeatedly squander taxpayer money in futile attempts to justify and defend lawsuits over the erection of Ten Commandment monuments on government property.
9. Currently Oklahoma legislators are supporting a move by fellow teabaggers to “create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.”
State Sen. Randy Brogdon, a Republican candidate for governor who has appealed for Tea Party support, said supporters of a state militia have talked to him, and that he believes the citizen unit would be authorized under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
The founding fathers “were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren’t even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other,” Brogdon said. “The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government.”
Another Republican lawmaker, state Rep. Charles Key, said he believes there’s a good chance of introducing legislation for a state-authorized militia next year.
Those are the priorities of Oklahoma that are frequently headlines in the news. If you were a CEO, does that sound like the kind of environment you’d be willing to stake tens of millions of dollars in investing in your company’s future? Would your executives even consider accepting a relocation to an area like that?
For those who remember the comic strip “Pogo,” a profound statement was once uttered that seems to sum it up: “We have met the enemy, and they is us.”
– Kenny Belford lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer