Dear Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachmann

If you think for five seconds anybody outside of a psych ward thinks you are anything other than opportunistic attention grubbers for trying to legitimize the brutality directed at a Census worker in Kentucky, you would be wrong. Rural constituencies can speak to disenfranchisement for themselves, and they do, and they share nothing in common with the murderers who did this except geography. People in rural areas can and do routinely engage in civil society and discourse; they respect democracy, the social contract and human life. Yes, Ms. Bachmann, I know you think you are positioning yourself to be the next Sarah Palin. Let’s think about how that worked out. How’s about…oh, I don’t know….having enough faith in the ideas upon which modern conservatism was founded that you don’t slither into the smarmiest pits where you seem to think the political movement now resides. Stand up straight, woman, and think about Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk [1, 2]. If you take the higher road, you could be the star you want to be.

But just let’s try out the logic so I can get this straight: the strategy seems to be to terrorize people trying to take a count of population and data so that the gummint doesn’t know you are there–i.e., systematically undercounting the 2010 population in rural areas. You know what? That actually works for me, since California is broke and we could use the Federal funds that might have gone to these other places. I normally would worry about what undercounting means for the poverty in Appalachia, but since we have poverty here to deal with, I’ll skip it. Census dude, count me twice if you want, and here’s a donut for you to boot.

[1]Kirk, R. 2001. The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. Regnery Publishing. 7th edition.ISBN 0-89526-171-5

[2] Rusello, G, 2004, “Russell Kirk and Territorial Democracy,” Publius 34: 109-24. Issn: 0048-5950.