The election cycle is getting to that point where we wake up every day to a little groan aimed at the very existence of politicians. We've heard every insane claim, dubious debate strategy, and clearly suspect promise of every candidate, and the real race is just getting started. We, friends, are rapidly growing jaded.
And that is a shame. Because some of the comments our political animals keep spurting out are hidden gems of crazy that lead to strange rabbit holes which seem to descend into an everlasting spiral of weirdness. For your amusement, and also because I lost a bet with the other columnists, I decided to dive head first into one of them. Here's what I found:
It Starts With A Seemingly Independent Piece Of Madness
On the second day of this year's Republican National Convention, former presidential hopeful Ben "You still remember who I am, right, guys?" Carson gave a heartfelt speech about the dangers of political correctness and the benefits of godliness. But that's not what anyone remembers of the speech. No, it's the way he straight up told the world that Hillary Clinton is in cahoots with the devil.
Personally, I think that's pretty fucking metal, but from the context, it's clear that the esteemed Dr. Carson didn't mean to imply that the Democratic presidential candidate is planning to waltz into the White House to the sweet tunes of Ronnie James Dio. His argument was based around writer and community organizer Saul Alinsky, Clinton's old mentor and the subject of her senior thesis. Alinsky once wrote a book called Rules For Radicals, which had the gall to acknowledge Lucifer as "the original radical." You probably know what comes next.
"Man, don't drag me into this. Hell's a cakewalk compared to this election cycle."
Carson then took his version of logic and leapt over the shark so hard that Henry Winkler is considering legal action:
"This is a nation where our founding document, the Declaration Of Independence, talks about certain inalienable rights that come from our creator; this is a nation where our Pledge Of Allegiance says we are one nation under God. This is a nation where every coin in our pocket and every bill in our wallet says 'In God We Trust.' So are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?"
And that is how the RNC found out -- whether it liked it or not -- that Ben Carson believes Hillary Clinton is a lady who's in league with Satan. In other words, a witch.
"But hey, that's Ben Carson," you justifiedly point out. "This is a man who misunderstands pyramids so hard that Egypt won't even bother to take it as an insult. Of course he'd blurt out something like that -- dude's precisely one empty coffee canister away from labeling Donald Trump as a leprechaun, and in fact has already accidentally peppered the guy with tons of accidental insults. Surely, one creepy swing in the opposing party's direction is just par for his dipshit course?"
That's what I initially thought, too. It's just that Carson is not exactly alone in his claims about Hillary's satanic activities ...
Then You Find Out Everyone's Doing It
Here's a fun exercise: Go to any right-leaning message board, or conservative sub-Reddit, or just a news site that allows comments. Locate several threads or articles about Hillary Clinton. Then, keep your eyes peeled for the words "witch," "witchcraft," and similar terms. Before too long, your eyeballs will be slapped right in the dong by comments that practically scream for a shitty Photoshop about her as the Wicked Witch Of The West. Yes, they're out there. No, I won't link any here. Instead, eat screenshot:
Guys, I might be crazy, but a whole lot of right-wing people seem to be actively calling Hillary Clinton a witch. That's ... oddly specific, isn't it? Using other witch-related search terms like "cackling" will get you very similar results. Hell, even fucking "broomstick" will yield a bunch of Hillary threads. Very little about gingerbread houses, though. I guess that makes sense -- why ruin something delicious by association?
For comparison, here's a collection of more openly crazy stories stating the exact same witch-thing about Ms. Clinton, in oddly similar terms:
What really gets me is how both the message boards and the straight-up lunatics use the exact same language: "witch," "Illuminati," "murderous," etc. keep popping up in an almost conversational (though presumably loud and spit-speckled) tone. It seems to be infectious, too: Even the mainstream media has started to pick up the witch rhetoric. And if you really want to get confused, feel free to combine the hashtags #hillary and #witch on Twitter.
Right now, you're probably assuming that this is just an election thing. After all, The Donald's adversaries make fun of his physics-defying hair, orange hue, and general mollusk-like qualities all the time. Surely, an underlying right-wing tendency to label the Clinton as a witch who's just one election victory away from naming Black Phillip as the secretary of state is just a Republican version of that?
Nope! It's something much weirder, because ...